CHENNAI: In a move to spread awareness on sustainable, electric and lowcarbon future, a team of engineers from Australia, who are focused on sustainability, are globetrotting in a solar-powered auto — Tuk Tuk. They arrived in Chennai on Thursday and are set to fire up the conversation around sustainable transport from Chennai to Mumbai, a distance of 1,500 km. “We do not even have autorickshaws in Australia and this invention has revolutionalised our lives.
We travelled more than 3,000 km on the auto in Australia and we had to halt our expedition a lot of times due to cyclones, bushfires among other issues. There was not even one technical glitch, but the imbalance of nature that we created delayed us.
It is high time we move to sustainable energy before it is too late,” said Talia Rose, a biomedical and electrical engineer with team SolarTuk Expedition, during an event held at Stella Maris on Thursday. Sourcing the auto from Thailand, the team of engineers from SolarTuk Expedition, education professionals and students of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia converted the vehicle to run on solar power.
The team has covered many parts in Australia including Brisbane, Melbourne and Great Barrier Road. Now, the auto will be travelling an undetermined route from Chennai through southern India, and is scheduled to arrive in Mumbai on August 31.
It has the capacity to carry five people (a driver and four passengers). It weighs 900 kg and runs at a speed of 50 km per hour. “We met numerous college and school students, community groups and other like-minded people to spread a word on sustainable energy. We have arrived in Chennai now and the pollution level here is very high. Sustainable transport is a quick way to address it and we will be educating the public on the same,” said Claire Jenkins, another member of SolarTuk Expedition.
Andrew Collister, vice consul at the Australian Consulate, Chennai, who was also present at the event said, “The Australian government has adopted an India Economic Strategy until 2035. There are ten sectors where Indian demand and Australian supply can come together, with education, energy, and science and innovation as three of the priority sectors.”