There is nothing more convincing to a skeptic than a simple demonstration. Naveen Rabelli, 35 year-old engineer of Indian origin, has understood this and has invested so much in his invention, a zero-emission tuk-tuk, to embark on a trip of 10.000 kilometers. From Hyderabad, in India, to London through a total of 10 countries: by ferry in Iran, then Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and finally France. A path studied on the basis of the parking stages necessary for charging the special vehicle: an electric and solar Ape Piaggio.
The tuk- tuk original had a traditional diesel power and it costed $ 1,500. With a following investment of about $ 12.000 the engineer has adapted it to a dual power: solar energy, with a special panel on the roof, and electricity. Some data characteristic: the charging process lasts 8 hours, the vehicle can reach 80 kilometers per hour and is equipped with all amenities.
A product entirely Made in India, even as a name: the tuk-tuk is called Tejas, which in Sanskrit means brightness. The pride of a nation-almost-continent with great potential, and the even greater contrasts; only in 2015 in India were sold over 3.1 million cars. In a country in full economic boom, but with reduced environmental culture, the Rabelli initiative takes the value of an awareness lesson: all owners of a gasoline vehicle can convert it to sustainable mobility according to Tejas model. A cheap and workable prototype, which provides huge environmental benefits and convenience.
A bed, a pantry, a solar powered kitchen: much more than a vehicle. Especially for Naveen, who was about to see his dream shattered in the final rush. In France, the penultimate leg of the trip, Naveen suffered a theft: the passport and 1.000 Euros, indispensable for the landing in London, were stolen from his own tuk-tuk. Courage and determination made the difference and, with five days late and an emergency identification, Tejas and his driver arrived by ferry at Dover.
United Kingdom reached, journey completed, but not concluded. Next stop Millbrook, Bedfordshire, for the Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2016 and finally London, September 18. From India to the City, a long journey not only in space, but also in time: decades ahead, to prove that an alternative to the current mobility scheme exists. And probably it’s cheaper.