Dutch Students Have Designed the Cleanest Auto-Rickshaw

Hybrid Tuktuk winner announced PHOTO

Last year, Enviu, the innovators in sustainability based in Rotterdam (NL), launched the Hybrid Tuktuk Battle. The challenge was to design a system to make one million auto-rickshaws in India and other developing countries hybrid, in order to improve the living conditions of millions of drivers and their families, and drastically reduce the CO2 emissions. This month the grand prize went to the HAN’ds On Eco Tuk, a Tuktuk with LPG direct injection designed by the students of Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN).The past twelve months 7 battle teams from the Netherlands and India have made a huge effort in developing their prototypes and business plans for making polluting auto-rickshaws, or Tuktuks, cleaner and more efficient. Last weekend the final competition took place in Chennai, India. The winner was chosen based on emission testing, fuel consumption races and a business plan for implementation of the system in India. The winning system saves up to 26% of energy and 53% on fuel costs compared to a regular petrol Tuktuk, and only costs around $200. The next step for Enviu is to set up a financial program for the Tuktuk drivers to reach their goal: make 1 million Tuktuks hybrid!

The Hybrid Tuktuk project aims to solve a current environmental as well as social problem. A million auto-rickshaws serve as one of the most important means of transportation every day in large cities across Asia, However, these Tuktuks cause a lot of air pollution and a large amount of CO2 emission. Moreover, and this is the social part, the auto-rickshaw drivers are part of the poorer economic groups of society and earn an average of $3 to $4 a day. By making the Tuktuks hybrid, they not only become much cleaner but also allow the drivers to save money on petrol.

The next challenge is to create a business around the winning design, and make it accessible for the millions of auto-rickshaw drivers in India. The student teams that did not win the battle also have the intention to start a business that will bring their system on the market. We will definitely watch their space. ::Hybrid Tuk Tuk ::Enviu

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