Global launch of solar electric tuk tuk at All-Energy Australia

18 Sep 2013


Australia’s largest clean and renewable energy show next month will see the unveiling of a revolutionary solar electric vehicle ... and it is a transporter with a decided difference.

It is fun and quirky, and has been developed by Australians for global consumption.

The Star 8 solar electric Tuk Tuk – known as SolarTuk – has already sparked significant interest from tourist operators and camp ground managers in Australia, and throughout Asia and Africa.

Among countries with which the company is in discussion are China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Africa and Nigeria.

The vehicle is the brainchild of Star 8 Managing Director Jacob Maimon, who came up with the concept – which he has seen through to fruition – after an experience in a South Vietnamese village.

“I had taken a ride in a conventional Tuk Tuk and when I got out I saw the driver putting only a small amount of petrol into the tank.

“I asked him why he didn’t fill it up and he said the cost of fuel was prohibitive and he could barely cover his daily expenses with the amount of work he picked up.

“It was then that I envisaged a solar-driven Tuk Tuk with an electric engine (as back-up), which cost next to nothing to run.”

“I designed the SolarTuk myself and then consulted engineers to have it made,” Mr Maimon says.

Star 8 is now building a factory in Cambodia, where the solar electric Tuk Tuks will be manufactured in four different designs with three engine capacities (650cc, 800cc and 1000cc).

They will be available with a single, lightweight, mono-crystalline flexible panel roof with a half kilowatt capacity, an 800 watt double roof (where a second roof slides out from above the fixed roof), a one kilowatt double roof and a one kilowatt double roof with legs.

The mono-crystalline cells will be manufactured in the USA by the company widely acknowledged as having the most energy efficiency production facilities in the world.

They will be made in 10 colours, each containing two batteries, and will cost between $2,000 and $3,000. One battery will be charging while the other is in use.

With a top speed of 50 kilometres per hour, the new age Tuk Tuks will be able to cover up to 120 kilometres before requiring a recharge, which can be achieved via the sun or a conventional power point.

Mr Maimon says the upside of these vehicles goes far beyond their “green credentials”.

“Importantly, the energy generated by these solar electric Tuk Tuks will enable many Asian families without access to adequate heating, lighting and cooking to properly cater for their families for the first time.

“Just think about it – people will be able to prepare full meals and keep warm by virtue of their solar-charged Tuk Tuks.

“We have carefully chosen Australia’s biggest and mostly highly regarded clean and renewable energy show to launch our global assault with these revolutionary vehicles.

“Already we have been inundated with enquiries because the SolarTuk is not only environmentally friendly but remarkably cost effective,” Mr Maimon says.


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