The Pilgreens embark on electric tuk-tuk odyssey to promote green mobility

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The green tuk-tuk will take The Pilgreens on an epic journey solely relying on electric power(Credit: The Pilgreens)

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Three French students will travel from Bangkok, Thailand to Toulouse, France on an electric tuk-tuk in an effort to demonstrate that electric power will be sufficient for our future mobility needs. They plan to cover 20,000 km (12,427 mi) through 16 countries in 120 days on their modified three wheeler relying on two giant batteries, a solar panel and the generosity of strangers.

Karen Koulakian, Ludwig Merz and Rémy Fernandes-Dandré are three International Management students at the University of Toulouse who want to bring attention to the dangers of climate change. Their collective idea culminated to The Pilgreens initiative, which was officially formed in January 2015.

Since then they have managed to buy a brand new electric Limo model from the Tuk Tuk Factory, outfit it with two massive batteries specially ordered from China, cover the roof with solar panels and complete all the necessary technical preparations for the adventure that lies ahead. On Sunday, August 10 the three friends embarked on their electric odyssey with hopes of reaching France in time for the COP 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30.

Karen, Remy and Ludwig, from left to right, pose with their adventure-ready tuk-tuk(Credit: The Pilgreens)

The Pilgreens’ cause is a pilgrimage to clean energy, the promotion of a foreseeable future where electricity will be the dominant power source of choice for our global mobility needs. The project is expected to cost around €60,000 (US$66,000), including €24,000 (US$26,500) for the vehicle and batteries.

In the few months since January, the team has managed to cover most of their projected expenses through sponsorships and a Ulule crowdfunding campaign. They have attracted a wide range of benefactors, from government institutions and universities to private companies and individual pledges.

After the adventurous travel showcase follows an ambitious and detailed business plan, according to which The Pilgreens plan to evolve into a legal entity in 2016, working as ambassadors for the expansion of green mobility to developing countries. This first trip, called the Catalyzing Project, will be much more than an epic journey.

The three travelers aim to investigate specific countries on their path, namely Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. The research will focus on identifying the needs for mobility with the scope for compiling future proposals related to electric mobility in these countries. Their findings will provide the basis for a research study supported by the Universities of Toulouse and Mahidol called "The Perception of Electric Mobility in Developing Countries."

The next step in the business plan involves mediation work as management consultants for the proliferation of green mobility, while in the longer run the non-government organization aspires to financially support selected projects.

The long journey to Toulouse will also be filmed as a documentary focusing on interactions with the local populations and their perceptions of electric mobility.

"From China to Austria, we'll film our encounters with people, and we'll film their reactions when we'll ask them for a plug to recharge our tuk-tuk," explain The Pilgreens. "We'll also film ourselves when the tuk-tuk will unexpectedly break down in some hell hole where it might also take us two days to find any signs of human life (ok, we hope this doesn't happen, but for the sake of our audience...). We'll film people and communities whose lives can be improved with the help of electric mobility. Think of young kids who could attend school because they can ride an electric bike and save a two-hour walk every day."

If you would like to support The Pilgreens’ cause you can do so by following the relevant links in their official website via the source link below.

For starters, you can get to know them a little better through their official video presentation below.

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