Australian green energy company Star 8 has designed a solar-powered tuk-tuk and is in the process of building a factory in Cambodia to make the vehicles, according to a report in Australian newspaper The Age.
Through solar panels on the rooftop, power is sent to one battery for running the engine, and another in storage that can also be used to power household generators, the Fairfax-owned newspaper reported.
The vehicles’ makers said the tuk-tuks will cost between A$2,000 (US$1,865) and A$3,000. A full charge can cover 120 kilometres and can reach a top speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
Star 8 director Jacob Maimon was quoted as saying that the vehicle will cost “next to nothing to run” and could also provide an opportunity for an alternative energy source.
Maimon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The company reportedly has signs of interest from Bangladesh, China, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa and Vietnam.
While the solar-powered tuk-tuk may be a first for Cambodia, renewable energy is one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.
The Royal University of Phnom Penh launched its first renewable energy course last year, recognising the need to prepare students for rising demand in the sector.