In May 2023, Ikea, the multinational conglomerate, announced it was going to be trialling electronic tuk-tuks in Australia as new ways of transporting goods to customers’ homes. Though the test is still on going, tuk tuks are continuing to prove themselves as versatile vehicles, but according to eTukTuk, the automotive project on Cardano, they can still do so much more. To understand how the vehicles can benefit from blockchain technology we sat down with Seth Ward, the chief information officer of eTukTuk.
eTukTuk is combing the world of transport with the world of blockchain. But how? It is doing so by creating an open network of charging stations and a proprietary three-wheeled vehicle on the blockchain.
Built on Cardano, eTukTuk represents a real-world use case for blockchain technology. In doing so, the company is looking to scale EV adoption and make sustainable transportation accessible for developing economies.
The first region eTukTuk is looking to enter is Sri Lanka. Having spent years in the country, gathering data on the market and building a network of prominent government and industry partners, the company is anticipating a successful launch in its first region.
eTukTuk’s partners and advisors include:
- Niro Cooke, group director on the main board of Capital Maharaja
- Sheran Fernando, co-founder of InnoSolve Lanka
- Dimantha Jayawardena, president of SLACMA
- Capital Maharaja Group
Speaking on the importance of launching in Sri Lanka, Ward said: “We chose Sri Lanka as our starting point due to the region’s urgent need for a sustainable transport system. Many other global markets would benefit from similar solutions, and we would ultimately like to expand across these regions. Our vision as a company is to create a world without financial divides or pollution.
“We want to achieve this by building an affordable network of charging stations and electric vehicles. Vehicles that work seamlessly within urban cities, without leaving behind a substantial carbon footprint.”
Creating a bridge between transportation and blockchain
In Sri Lanka, tuk-tuks are the most popular form of transport for passengers and delivery services. However, despite being so popular, many drivers struggle to make a living. There are a variety of reasons for this, including unaffordable fuel prices and a severe economic crisis.
With over one million families currently dependent on tuk-tuk services as their main source of income, eTukTuk is looking to improve the country’s economic stability and progress inclusion. By switching from an internal combustion engine (ICE) to eTukTuk’s electric model, drivers will reduce their fuel running costs by 83 per cent.
Unleashing its true potential
Discussing why blockchain has so much potential, Ward added: “Integrating blockchain technology allows for the creation of immutable digital identities and essential documentation, granting people without bank accounts access to previously inaccessible financial services, facilitating upward mobility, and closing the divide between developing and developed nations.
“Blockchain will also help keep transaction fees lower than electronic fiat payments. When drivers stop to charge their vehicles, they make lots of little transactions throughout the day. Centralised entities such as debit cards charge a significant fee on each transaction. Using blockchain technology drivers can bypass these centralised entities and opt to pay using the TUK token, which significantly reduces the fees they are paying.
“Blockchain is still a nascent technology, and drivers require a lot of education to understand the benefits in the long run. However, we believe the benefits of this technology are worth it which is why we are committed to continuously educating our audiences on how they can get involved and make the transition to EVs.”
When looking to the future, Ward concluded by saying: “It’s hard to choose what’s most exciting about a project that promises to improve people’s lives in so many ways. So I’d say that the most exciting thing is the prospect of getting eTukTuks and charging stations on the ground in the countries that need it most. Where most of the pollution is happening and where they don’t necessarily have the government resources to tackle it as easily as elsewhere. Both saving lives and changing lives, in a real partnership with local people.”