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Old 11-08-2017, 07:34 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by seifrob View Post
May I just point out to OP, that tuk-tuk does not meet OP's requirements either?
Agreed, most (European) tuktuks will cost more than 5000 euro. However, it's important to distinguish between those velomobile/bicycle-type vehicles (for one person) and vehicles such as tuktuks that have the same uses as a regular car. For the first, a price of 5000 euro is the absolute maximum; for the latter, up to 10000 euro seems still reasonable (considering that tuktuks also consume less and are less expensive than regular cars -taxing, insurance, ...-).

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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
I was not considering that Thai tuk-tuk, which uses the same engine of some Japanese mini trucks. I was considering those Vespa-based ones which are more common in India.
For more convenience and safety, I would add a hardtop and doors. A swamp-cooler wouldn't be out of question, since it takes up less power than air conditioning.
Those shorter tuktuks with a single bench indeed seem even better (and they're way cheaper, ie 125000 indian rupee or 1658 euro). They should allow cargo transport as well as there's a single bench, and there's space under the bench too. Perhaps a roof rack could be added too. However, I haven't found any similar brands/models that are being sold in Europe and if you ship them from say India, costs will increase hugely. Perhaps the Piaggio Ape City might be sold in Europe as Piaggio is an Italian brand (although I doubt it since this model isn't available here appearantly) ? Another thing, as you already pointed out, is that the engines mounted are less powerful (200cc or less). Top speed is thus some 65 km/h which is too slow for highway use (although perhaps one could attain the minimum highway speed of 70 km/h with some aerodynamic improvements). I wouldn't add a hard top but instead just add a durable hard plastic for the top, and sides (still openable). In europe we don't need air conditioning or any cooling whatsoever as there are few times when it's hot here. A heater would be useful, but that could be added in the form of a separate heater (not integrated to the vehicle), or perhaps the heat from the engine can be channeled to the cabin somehow.

Some of the most used brands/models in India are:
* Bajaj RE
* Piaggio Ape City
* Mahindra Alfa
* TVS King three-wheeler
* Mithani Group Zeal 3-wheeler


Last edited by smallscaleH2; 11-14-2017 at 05:41 AM..
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:41 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by smallscaleH2 View Post
Agreed, most (European) tuktuks will cost more than 5000 euro.
<snip>
...up to 10000 euro seems still reasonable (considering that tuktuks also consume less and are less expensive than regular cars -taxing, insurance, ...-).

<snip>
so, basically from € 5k to € 10k for a vehicle, that does only minimal protection against elements, that does only minimal protection in case of accident, and that you need to modify heavily in order to reach legal limit for highway speeds /not to mention to cope with real traffic flow/ ?

I would rather buy some econobox - ie Dacia Sandero with € 7k listed price and 54 MPG.

( its not a spam link, I was once accused not cite sources in my claims. )

Last edited by seifrob; 11-08-2017 at 04:03 PM.. Reason: quote tag added
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:34 PM   #33 (permalink)
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The question becomes how fast is fast enough? An e-bike might do 30 mph and the e-velos do 45 mph. The seating could be inline or offset. How many people travel solo versus two or more passengers? Would an e-bike carried on board a bus or train for 25 plus mile trips be more efficient?
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:28 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by seifrob View Post
so, basically from € 5k to € 10k for a vehicle, that does only minimal protection against elements, that does only minimal protection in case of accident, and that you need to modify heavily in order to reach legal limit for highway speeds, not to mention to cope with real traffic flow ?
I would rather buy some econobox at 7k€.
Point taken. One of the tuktuks mentioned (Terra Motors three-wheeler) is indeed quite light (300kg) and so won't offer much protection I think. The question however is whether it thus still meet safety requirements for highway use. I'm also not sure whether a regular car is much better btw; they've only been tested/are required to meet safety standards for 50 km/h accidents. So when crashing at more than 50 km/h (as is always the case on highways, as they have a 70 km/h minimum speed), it might not offer much protection neither and serious injury or death may still result. Also note that the tuktuks from the other links weigh in about 1,8 tonnes, so that's equally tough as a regular car. But as mentioned, I doubt that at high speeds it will make much difference.

I actually think that the low weight will also make road traffic a lot safer. If you hit a pedestrian or bicycle rider with a 300 kg vehicle, injuries should be 6x less than with a 1800 kg vehicle. In addition, the 300 kg vehicle will have a shorter braking distance, so some accidents could be avoided even.

As for the price: yes 10k is the upper limit I set, but if you look at the short tuktuks, these come at just 1,5 to 2k€, so way less than an econobox. The long tuktuks are a lot more expensive (if bought new). 2nd hand, they should be much more affordable. Also, you're not taking into account the insurance costs, taxes, road permits, ... which should be way lower with a 600 -or less- cc tuktuk. Heavy modification to attain the minimum or top highway speed (depending on the tuktuk chosen) isn't necessairy; just adding a plastic covering that shields the otherwise open parts of the cabin should do.

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Originally Posted by Grant-53 View Post
The question becomes how fast is fast enough? An e-bike might do 30 mph and the e-velos do 45 mph. The seating could be inline or offset. How many people travel solo versus two or more passengers? Would an e-bike carried on board a bus or train for 25 plus mile trips be more efficient?
You're referring to the bike/velomobile which would always be a single-seater. It's used for home-work trips for one person, and electric propulsion is even only needed for longer trips (else, regular pedaling will do). Speed (30 or 45 mph) here is of little to no importance, if you reach 45 km/h, that's sufficient (bicycle lanes only allow a max speed of 45 km/h anyway).
The combo mini-e-bike + train/bus is also besides the point as most people just don't use a bus/train because they need to adjust their timing to it (and trains/buses don't always come on time either so you need to be present well before they are expected to arrive and wait at least 5 to 10 minutes). Another issue is that the bus or train doesn't drop you off exactly where you need to be (but this could indeed be solved using a mini-e-bike, downside however is that you need to carry it along and deploy/undeploy it every time).

Last edited by smallscaleH2; 11-12-2017 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:38 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallscaleH2 View Post
Those shorter tuktuks with a single bench indeed seem even better (and they're way cheaper, ie 125000 indian rupee or 1658 euro). They should allow cargo transport as well as there's a single bench, and there's space under the bench too. However, I haven't found any similar brands/models that are being sold in Europe and if you ship them from say India, costs will increase hugely. Perhaps the Piaggio Ape City might be sold in Europe as Piaggio is an Italian brand (although I doubt it since this model isn't available here appearantly) ? Another thing, as you already pointed out, is that the engines mounted are less powerful (200cc or less). Top speed is thus some 65 km/h which is too slow for highway use (although perhaps one could attain the minimum highway speed of 70 km/h with some aerodynamic improvements).
Engine RPM, power and torque curve, and gear ratio might play an important role when it comes to reaching highway-capable speed too. But anyway, I'd be more inclined to adapt some 250cc engine out of a Honda or Yamaha motorcycle. Considering the power and torque curves, matching it all to the right gearing, and eventually some very discrete aerodynamic improvement, that would be suitable to my country's road conditions.

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