Can Electric Tuk-Tuks Reinvent City Traffic?


The tuk-tuk, or the auto rickshaw, is a common public transportation vehicle seen across several developing nations. In recent years, the vehicle also called the auto rickshaw has crept into a growing number of major cities across the globe–mainly in Europe–as a tourist vehicle. Yet, in America the tuk-tuk has yet to catch on. Possibly sparked by the multiple transportation options already presented, Americans don’t seem too intrigued by the prospect of riding in a new vehicle, regardless of its ability to reduce traffic and energy output.

But those views may eventually change if a design of out Melbourne, Australia catches on with the world. RMIT University student Kyle Armstrong recently revealed designs for an electronic version of the tuk-tuk called the Lindo. Lindo derives from the Spanish word meaning, “a word that describes an object as either especially cute or beautiful to mean a great deal.”

Armstrong’s invention came about in a bid to redesign the rapidly growing Melbourne population and its transportation system. With the Lindo, Armstrong hopes to see a Melbourne where public transport leaves the linear confines of public transportation and instead becomes more like an Uber-based platform. By using the Lindo smartphone app, the user is able to book, pay and track their travels in an efficient manner. Armstrong’s design focuses on a carbon fiber chassis, and titanium space frame that makes it light yet strong and highly durable. In addition to the features, the Lindo also boasts lithium ion batteries that charge at a fraction of the time.

The Lindo is still a ways away from disrupting the current transportation system. However, Armstrong believes that the Lindo will eventually lead to a cleaner, safer and more efficient Melbourne. Check out the video above for a more detailed look at the Lindo.

Do you think the Lindo would work in your city?

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Thane Ritchie is the founder of Ritchie Capital Management who currently is involved in private equity and energy investments.