An Indian electrical engineer plans a 6,000-mile odyssey on his customized solar powered tuk-tuk all the way to London to promote the idea of environmentally friendly travel. Jim Drury reports.
STORY: According to its designer, this tuk-tuk has a date with destiny. It will travel 6000 miles, from Bangalore to London, powered by the Sun. Naveen Rabelli transformed an ordinary diesel powered rickshaw into a hybrid electric vehicle.... all in an effort to raise awareness for eco-friendly technology. SOUNDBITE (English) INDIAN ENGINEER, NAVEEN RABELLI, SAYING: "I was planning to travel from India to Europe. All the time from the kid I was dreaming of travelling by road. Then I was looking at various options, how I can go? and I saw this as a very good option, you know, Indian icon, this tuk-tuk and what better way? You are not polluting the air, so zero emission vehicle." Rabelli calls his souped-up tuk-tuk 'Tejas', which he fitted with a new motor, battery and gearbox. Its roof is lined with solar panels and eight hours of battery charge will only carry Rabelli and Austrian companion Raoul Kopacka 50 miles...making for a very slow trip. Rabelli says Tejas can also be plugged in for additional power ... ensuring that his eco-friendly tuk-tuk will make it to London ... rain or shine.