When most people in the western world think of tuk tuks (if they even know what they are), they likely picture rather beat-up, primitive, noisy vehicles that zip around the crowded streets of exotic foreign lands. A Dutch company known as Tuk Tuk Factory, however, recently started building its own electric tuk tuks for sale within Europe. Apparently the traditional gas-powered vehicles from Asia couldn’t meet European environmental, quality or safety requirements. While the company’s existing models have all been aimed at ferrying around passengers, last week it launched the e-Tuk Vendo – an all-electric three-wheeled mobile catering machine.

The Vendo’s lead-acid battery charges in ten hours, providing a range of about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles). That battery is also sufficient to keep the onboard refrigerator running while the vehicle is in transit. When it reaches its destination, however, the Vendo should be plugged into mains power – not only will this keep its fridge, water pumps and other systems from killing the battery, but it will also allow the battery to recharge. An optional roof-mounted solar panel will help in that department.

The vehicle’s 72-volt AC motor manages a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) – enough for city streets, but not for freeways.

A panel on one side of the Vendo opens up to provide a sheltered selling space, which can be augmented with a table that folds out from the vehicle. Cargo storage is in the rear.

The e-Tuk Vendo is available now through several European dealers, with prices starting at €24,000 (US$31,565). As production is starting at a small scale, expect to wait three to four months if you order one.

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