|An original Bajaj CNG three-wheeler.|
TucTuc Limited announced the launch of Europe’s first TucTuc (motorized three-wheelers, or rickshaws) route service, which will begin official operation on 10 July 2006. Brighton & Hove has been chosen as the test-bed for this service, which is due to be introduced in London in May 2007 and across the rest of the UK and Europe in 2008/2009.
Motorized rickshaws are commonplace in Asia, and, depending upon their age and fuel/engine combination, a serious source of pollution. TucTuc Limited—which has been awarded the first known operator’s licence of its kind outside Asia—is importing low-emission CNG-fueled tuctucs from Bajaj in India.
|One of 12 wrappings for the new TucTucs.|
The 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) 173.5cc engines use a compression ration of 9:1, and deliver 50 miles/gallon equivalent of CNG. Maximum torque is 9.3 Nm (6.9 lb-ft). The tuctucs carry a Euro-4 emissions rating.
The vehicles will refuel at a dedicated filling station in Brighton Marina, which will also be open to the public.
(A hat-tip to Nick Flynn!)