Taking Tuk-Tuk to Task

Tuk-tuks are mechanized rickshaws - a cheaper alternative to taxis - that can be found throughout the developing world, from Latin America to Africa to southeast Asia and India. Environmental think-tank Enviu is trying to reduce rickshaw emissions.
July 18, 2009, 9am PDT | franny.ritchie
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'While visiting India two years ago, Stef Van Dongen, director of Enviu, an environmental think tank in Rotterdam, had a different kind of inspiration: A low-emissions auto-rickshaw, or "tuk tuk" as they are known in Thailand. "The auto-rickshaw is public transportation in much of Asia – there are 3 million alone in India," Mr. Van Dongen said during a recent visit to Enviu's offices. The vehicles, he pointed out, have inefficient engines and run on cheap dirty fuels. Some even use kerosene.

"I used auto-rickshaws a lot and was astonished by the amount of smoke," Mr. Van Dongen recalled.''

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

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Published on Friday, July 17, 2009 in New York Times
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