This one style of vehicle is known by many names. In India, it’s an auto rickshaw. In Thailand, a tuk-tuk (a fun onomatopoeia that arose from the traditionally loud two-stroke engines powering them). But whatever it’s called, these three-wheeled taxis have used their half-bike, half-wagon design to shuttle folks around cities for decades. And now, a new era of rickshaws is seeing electric drives enabling interesting new designs.
Take for instance this yellow behemoth of a bike I found while perusing Alibaba. It may just be one of my favorite Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week entries in a while based on just how useful it looks!
Got some kids you need to shuttle down the neighborhood to a friend’s house? Throw ’em in!
Have some grocery shopping to do? Strap those eggs into the backseat!
Does Granny need a ride to the doctor? Toss that lady in back and drive Miss Daisy to the orthopedist!
With your own electric rickshaw, you can become the open-air, eco-friendly neighborhood cab driver you’ve always dreamed of!
Behold the features such as the “stylish and exquisite exterior styling,” the “fully-functional turn signals and headlights,” and the “spacious front and rear seats for up to six people at a time.”
I’m not quite sure how you cram six people into this little thing, unless you’ve got a clown car situation or part of the rear suspension becomes the lap of your riding companion. But hey, the more merrier!
For power, we’ve got a rear axle-mounted 1,000W motor supplied by a 48V battery. It’s not clear how big the battery is, but the vendor claims a range of 70-90 km (43-55 miles), which I think is larger than any neighborhood operator could need.
At a top speed of around 35 km/h (22 mph), you’re not going to be taking this on any major roads. And even if you could, I’m not sure you’d want to go much faster in a tricycle. Three-wheelers are fun, but they do have a nasty habit of turning into two-wheelers in the turns, if you catch my drift.
And if you get going too fast into a hairpin, you’d better have someone on hand to catch your own drift.
One of the things I Iike about this design, other than the fun and bubbly shell, is that the large-diameter bike-style wheels will likely help with rougher terrain. These vehicles sometimes skimp on the suspension, and so larger wheels can help reduce the impact of bumps and dips in the road surface. It’s not going to be an off-roader, but I think that sounds like a bad enough idea that no one was planning on hitting up their local ATV trails anyway.
My favorite part of this vehicle is just how cheap it is – a mere $592! Though there are a couple of catches. First, that’s likely the price without batteries. Second, and more importantly, that’s the price when buying 100 units, which is the minimum order quantity of the Chinese factory that makes this lovable little runabout. However, if you’re prepared to buy just over half a billion units, they’ll drop the price down to $400 per unit. I’m not kidding.
I guess I won’t be riding around in my own silly yellow e-bike tuk-tuk anytime soon, at least not unless I can find 99 friends who also want to join in on the fun. I’ve got my hands full with a few containers of Chinese EVs as it is. But just imagine the sight of pulling into your neighborhood one day and seeing a parade of 100 bubble trikes rolling past in all of their bright yellow glory. Now that’s a world I want to live in!
Italy is putting a big hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm in the sea
A 540-megawatt (MW) hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm is going to be developed off Italy’s southern coast, in the Ionian Sea.
Dutch-Norwegian offshore solar company SolarDuck, Italian investment fund Arrow Capital, and Italian developer New Developments are jointly developing the Corigliano project, which will be in the Gulf of Taranto off the Calabrian coast of Corigliano-Rossano:
SolarDuck is a spin-off of Damen Shipyards, a major shipbuilder in the Netherlands. It’s tapped into that knowledge to design elevated solar platforms made of offshore-grade aluminum that sit 10 feet (3 meters) off the water to withstand rough waters. The elevation also reduces salt deposits on the solar panels. (Floating solar farms on lakes and ponds tend to sit directly on the water.)
The triangular floating platforms are modular, so they can be connected to form large plants. Plus, the platforms have slip-resistant walkways and fences for access and maintenance.
The hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm will feature 420 MW of offshore wind and 120 MW of floating solar. It will have 28 floating wind turbines, but SolarDuck’s announcement doesn’t indicate who is developing them. We’ve reached out to SolarDuck for details and will update when we hear back.
The Corigliano hybrid floating project is expected to come online in 2028.
SolarDuck is running an up to three-year 5 MW pilot with multinational energy company RWE in the North Sea, 7.5 miles (12 km) from The Hague’s Dutch coast. In December, it secured €15 million in funding, and it’s going to install Japan’s first offshore floating wind farm.
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Doroni unveils production-intent H1-X eVTOL, offering personal air travel up to 120 mph [Video]
Young urban air mobility (UAM) developer Doroni Aerospace is stepping out of the shadows and into the eVTOL startup with the official reveal of its flagship aircraft – the H1-X. The two-seat eVTOL was showcased during a livestream event today and is damn close to being market-ready, touting some impressive specs.
Doroni Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Doron Merdinger – a lifelong entrepreneur with 25 years of design, manufacturing, and firm management expertise.
To bring his dreams of sustainable aviation transportation to life, Merdinger assembled a team of engineers and technicians working together to democratize flight in a growing eVTOL segment.
The result of those efforts is the HX-1, Doroni’s flagship “flying car,” better known as an electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle. After years of development behind the scenes, which we at Electrek have kept close tabs on, Doroni has finally revealed the H1-X to the public, which looks pretty cool. Have a look for yourself.
Doroni hard launches with production-intent eVTOL
The eVTOL startup shared many details of the H1-X earlier today during a livestream event you can view below. While Doroni’s flagship aircraft is an eVTOL through and through, its design and use vary from several of its competitors in development.
For instance, Doroni designed the H1-X as a two-seat personal aircraft rather than the larger cabins designed for air taxi services many other companies are working on. The H1-X also features a unique tandem wing configuration, with propellers built in (less risk of decapitation!)
The company says this design feature enhances the eVTOL’s lift and efficiency compared to traditional designs, and its wing fences can better manage airflow. The ducted fans are also quieter, even when the eVTOL’s eight electric motors are revving. Doroni’s CEO spoke during the eVTOL launch event:
The H1-X is not just a vehicle; it’s a leap toward a future where freedom of movement and sustainability coexist. Our dedication to innovation, safety, and the environment is embodied in every aspect of the H1-X, marking a new chapter in transportation.
Doroni shared that the H1-X weighs 1,850 pounds, can haul a payload capacity of 500 pounds, and can fly for 40 minutes on a single charge. What’s most interesting is that the incoming eVTOL can reach a top speed of 120 mph! Hopefully, Doroni will aid in training and certifying its future owners because that’s a lot of speed for the average person.
Representatives for Doroni Aerospace told Electrek that the first several examples of the H1-X eVTOLs are currently being built and will be used for extensive test flights at the end of the year. That being said, we were told the aircraft you see below is the go-to-market product, although there may be some minor tweaks before scaled production.
The H1-X has already received FAA certification for flightworthiness in the US and is expected to enter mass production in 2026. Each eVTOL is expected to cost between $300,000 and $400,000. You can learn more from the replay of the entire reveal event below:
Fisker is talking to Nissan for a lifeline and electric pickup partnership
Nissan has been revealed as the potential savior of Fisker. The Japanese automaker is reportedly talking with Fisker to invest in the company and partner on electric pickup trucks.
Earlier today, we reported on Fisker’s disastrous fourth-quarter results showing that the electric vehicle startup lost $400 million in 2023 and it now has less than $400 million of cash on hands.
The automaker had to admit that it wouldn’t be able to continue operations past next year without a big cash injection.
It did reveal that it was talking to a “large automaker” about an investment that could save the company.
Now, Reuters reported that the automaker in question is Nissan:
Nissan is in advanced talks to invest in electric vehicle maker Fisker (FSR.N), in a deal that could provide the Japanese automaker with access to an electric pickup truck while giving the struggling startup a financial lifeline, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
The deal would reportedly involve Nissan investing $400 million in Fisker. It would also involve Nissan building the Alaska pickup truck unveiled by Fisker last year at one of its US plants.
On top of it, Nissan could use the Alaska platform to build its own electric pickup truck.
Neither Nissan nor Fisker commented on the report.
Fisker’s stock dropped by more than 50% today after the release of its earnings, but the stock recovered a bit after the report that Nissan is considering investing.
The stock currently trades at a valuation of $295 million.
I’m not sure what to think about it. I’ve never been a big fan of Fisker, and I’ve warned people about investing in the company before.
If the report is true, I don’t know what Nissan sees in this. If they are behind on developing electric pickup trucks, it might be worth it for them, but I think that any significant investment would be a takeover the company.
It is now worth less than $300 million and that might be an attractive investment as a company that had $200 million in revenue last quarter in the growing EV market, but the looks are deceiving.
As I’ve highlighted before, Fisker was desperate in its previous fundraising efforts and took big convertible notes, which now add up to $1.2 billion, according to its last SEC filing.
Currently, there’s just no way Fisker can manage to pay that back and therefore, they will convert to stock and drastically dilute it for current shareholders.
So I don’t see a good outcome here other than Nissan picking the whole company up for cheap and accelerating its EV programs with it.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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