Meet the anti-Tesla: Terra Motors’ electric ‘tuk-tuk’ trike has big-name backers

Terra Motors tuk-tuk

There appears to be an ever-growing push to go ‘green’ in the emerging Asian auto markets. The latest vehicle to meet the demand is from the Terra Motors startup out of Japan. It has put together what it calls the electric tuk-tuk, which is an all-electric three-wheeled vehicle, which will be primarily used as a taxi (or “tuk tuk,” pronounced “took took”). 

First offered in the Philippines, the all-electric trike will cost around $6,300, which is far more than the $1,500 gasoline versions currently on the market.

Capable of a 31-mile range on a two-hour charge, according to a TechCrunch report, the electric tuk-tuk is estimated to save owners $5 in gas per day, which might just make up for its recharge time inconvenience.

The EV trike looks much more futuristic than its gasoline competitors but is just as versatile. At three meters long, the electric tuk-tuk can seat up to six passengers.

By 2016, Terra Motors hopes to replace as many as 100,000 gasoline-powered tuk-tuks on the streets of Asia. Looking at the Terra Motors investor list inspires enough confidence to believe the fledgling company just might have what it takes to succeed. Former executives of Apple Japan, Google Japan, Sony, and Compaq have all invested in the Japanese EV venture.

Dutch and Chinese companies have already produced similar offerings but none is as ambitious as the Terra creation.

If Filipino taxi drivers plan their day correctly, the electric tuk-tuk could save them money and also afford them a nice two-hour lunch. When you break the benefits like that, it makes us re-think our career paths.

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