A three-wheeled solar-powered tuk tuk will stop off in Port Macquarie on an epic expedition from Melbourne to Cairns.
The trip promotes sustainable transport.
Widely used by millions of people around the world, a humble tuk tuk has been transformed for the long-distance expedition.
A team of young Australians has re-engineered a tuk-tuk into a three-wheeled, solar-powered, long-range electric vehicle as part of an epic project to promote sustainable transport and a low-carbon future.
The team of engineers, education professionals and RMIT University students converted the vehicle to run on solar power, taking out the RMIT student engineering Best Engineering Project 2018 at Engenius in the process.
The vehicle is now fitted with photovoltaic solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, and has been upgraded to handle Australian conditions. Licenced to carry four adults plus the driver, we have an average maximum range of ~ 300 km per charge!
The tuk tuk left Melbourne on November 24 and will complete its journey on December 18.
During the trip the team’s mission is to engage and inspire communities, businesses and individuals to take action for positive change and accelerate the move towards a sustainable, electric and low-carbon future.
The SolarTuk Expedition is the brainchild of Westpac Social Change Fellow Julian O’Shea and Arup renewable energy engineer Jack Clarke as a way to highlight the impact of GHG emissions from transport, a sector that has largely flown under the radar in Australian media and politics compared to electricity.
But as the third largest (and growing) source of emissions in Australia, we can't afford to ignore it any longer, a spokesperson for the expedition said.
“Transitioning to an electric transport system powered by renewable energy sources is a critical part of Australia reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and we hope the SolarTuk Expedition will help inspire our businesses, communities and government to start making the change,” the spokesperson said.
“We are now actively seeking community projects, schools, councils and businesses to visit and engage with along the way and invite anyone interested to visit the SolarTuk website for details on our schedule and how to get in touch.
“The trip’s itinerary already includes visits to solar farms, permaculture projects, an electric vehicle motorcade, a visit to Parliament house, workshops with primary and high-school students, a journey to the top of Australia and lots of cups of tea with the everyday people doing inspiring things in the name of sustainable development.
“We encourage anyone along the route to reach out with idea, event or contact and we’ll do our best to make build it into the expedition.”
For more information and to follow the expedition, go to www.solartuk.org