3-Wheeled Electric 'Tuk Tuks' Offer a Clean, Silent Shuttle & Delivery Option

©. eTuk USA

e-Tuk USA makes versatile road-legal electric vehicles that can be used for anything from food trucks to local transportation fleets, even indoors.

A common vehicle in many other parts of the world is the small three-wheeled 'tuk tuk' or auto rickshaw, which is traditionally powered by a rather loud and dirty gas engine, and which can come in a variety of configurations ranging from passenger vehicle to cargo carrier. Its small size, great maneuverability, and relatively simple mechanical setup make it the perfect choice for deliveries of both people and goods in crowded city streets, whether as part of a fleet or as a single small business.

In the US, however, where these small vehicles might be really useful for urban transport, there's hardly a tuk-tuk to be seen (except for maybe those small electric shuttle vehicles in airport concourses), perhaps in part due to their noisy and polluting nature, but a cleaner, quieter version of this little workhorse could be a good solution for a number of mobility and logistics operations.

eTuk USA electric auto rickshaw

eTuk USA has been manufacturing 100% electric tuk tuks in Denver, Colorado, for the last few years, and these vehicles are said to be suitable for a wide range of applications, from transporting cargo to carrying passengers to serving as on-campus facilities vehicles to running a mobile food business. These eTuks can also be used indoors, because they're electric vehicles and produce no harmful emissions while running, which opens up the possibility of indoor vending and transportation use. The company makes four different models, the 3-passenger 'Classic', the 6-passenger 'Limo', the eTuk 'Cargo', and the 'Vendor' ("the ultimate selling machine"), as well as building custom vehicles based on the eTuk platform on request.

The Classic weighs in at 1,900 pounds, gets up to 25 miles per hour, and has a 60-mile range per charge, with an estimated 12 hours of charging necessary to completely top off a depleted battery bank. The vehicle uses a 15.5 kWh capacity bank of sealed lead-acid batteries, although sales materials say that "upgraded options" are available for the battery bank. The Classic has seats and seatbelts for four, including the driver, and includes all of the necessary safety components (lights, mirrors, turn signals, etc.) to comply with US Department of Transportation regulations for road-legal vehicles. Starting price for the Classic is about $18,000.

eTuk USA electric auto rickshaw

The Limo, Cargo, and Vendor models all weigh in at about 2,200 pounds, and have the same top speed and safety components as the Classic, but with varying carrying capacities, with the Limo having space for 7 people, including the driver, and the Cargo and Vendor models dedicating more space for stuff than for people.

eTuk USA electric auto rickshaw
The eTuk Vendor offers an eco friendly way to sell anything; from merchandise to ice cream to fresh fruit to hot drinks, just to name a few. If food is your thing, you can custom fabricate these eTuks to cook and sell your delectables. It is fully customizable to any vending concept and offers the same green clean fun, similar to all other eTuks. The Vendor is available in standard or XL size.
eTuk Cargo offers an incredible mix of features. The big cargo space comes in 2 versions, the basic eTuk Cargo and the eTuk Cargo XL. This vehicle is the perfect fit for one that manages a supermarket supply chain or for a restaurateur looking for a memorable and economical way to deliver food fresh from their restaurant. As compared to larger vehicles the eTuk cargo’s maneuverability makes it far easier for urban delivery. - eTuk USA

You may have already heard of or seen eTuks before, perhaps in Europe, where the Netherlands-based Tuk Tuk Factory is making inroads to cleaner transportation with its Thai-produced e-Tuks, but the electric auto rickshaw's presence in the US is newer, and is due to an exclusive manufacturing and distribution licensing agreement between Tuk Tuk Factory and eTuk USA, which builds its own vehicles in Denver.