The three-wheeled Tuk-Tuk is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable vehicles associated with Thailand. To give you an idea, what the jeepney is to the Philippines is what the Tuk-Tuk is to the Land of Smiles. One engineering company in the UK, D2H Advanced Technologies, however, sees this four-wheeled electric vehicle as an affordable and eco-friendly replacement to the iconic three-wheeler commonly used in Thailand and the rest of Asia.
“Many electric vehicle projects target high-performance, high-value chassis concepts. While these are great engineering projects, we identified a need for a very low cost, zero-emissions utility vehicle which can be adapted to different configurations and offers the potential for much greater uptake,” says Matthew Hicks, D2H Engineering Director.
D2H says that the EV chassis seen here has been designed to meet L7E Heavy Quadricycle EU classification. This means that even though the body exempted from crash testing, it is still very safe to use. In its present form, D2H says the EV uses suspension, brakes, and steering systems from a current production chassis. It is a front-wheel-drive vehicle with a front-mounted motor and battery packs stored in between the rear wheels. Excluding the batteries, the concept weighs 480kg. There are no performance details just yet, but D2H expects the EV will be capable of 12-hours continuous use.
The company plans to move from the design board to prototyping and testing in the future with the help of its partners. However, they did not disclose a timeline as to when their EV replacement to the Tuk-Tuk will roll out.
“This a modern, clean running version of the legendary Tuk-Tuk, which has been so successful in mobilizing millions of people in India, South-East Asia, and South America. If we can create a lighter, safer, zero-emissions alternative that competes on cost and utility, then we will have done the job,” adds Hicks.
What do you guys think of this EV as a replacement to the Tuk-Tuk? We’re sure our readers over in Thailand have something to say about it.