Marine

Amphibious three-wheeler could keep flood-stricken Filipinos mobile

Amphibious three-wheeler could...
The Salamander is designed to be at home on the road and the water
The Salamander is designed to be at home on the road and the water
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The Salamander is designed to be at home on the road and the water
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The Salamander is designed to be at home on the road and the water
There are actually two versions of the Salamander – a gas/hydrogen model, and one that's fully electric
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There are actually two versions of the Salamander – a gas/hydrogen model, and one that's fully electric
The Salamander's cockpit
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The Salamander's cockpit
The Salamander has a full lighting package
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The Salamander has a full lighting package
The Salamander HydrOPlus has a fuel blending system that lets it run on a combination of gas and hydrogen
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The Salamander HydrOPlus has a fuel blending system that lets it run on a combination of gas and hydrogen
The Salamander's double-layered hull is constructed of high-density polyethylene, and is compartmentalized in order to help the vehicle stay afloat and stabilized if damaged
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The Salamander's double-layered hull is constructed of high-density polyethylene, and is compartmentalized in order to help the vehicle stay afloat and stabilized if damaged
The Salamander can carry six passengers on land (including the driver), and four when in boat mode
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The Salamander can carry six passengers on land (including the driver), and four when in boat mode
Propulsion in the water is achieved using a rear-mounted marine-grade propeller, that's run by the same motor that turns the Salamander's wheels when on the road
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Propulsion in the water is achieved using a rear-mounted marine-grade propeller, that's run by the same motor that turns the Salamander's wheels when on the road

If there are two things that the Philippines has a lot of, it's motorized trikes and small flood-prone villages. That's why Filipino startup H2O Technologies has developed the Salamander. It's a three-wheeler that can be driven on the road like a normal vehicle most of the time, but that can also take to the water when floods occur.

There are actually two versions of the vehicle – a gas/hydrogen model, and one that's fully electric.

The first version, called the HydrOPlus, has a 200-cc engine that runs on regular gasoline. Should hydrogen be available, however, it also has a fuel blending system that lets it run on a combination of gas and hydrogen. This should both cut down on emissions, and give it considerably better mileage.

The electric model is instead driven by a 3,000 W 48-volt motor, that is in turn powered by four 90-Ah gel-type batteries. There's no word on range or charging time, or on mileage for the gas version.

The Salamander can carry six passengers on land (including the driver), and four when in boat mode
The Salamander can carry six passengers on land (including the driver), and four when in boat mode

A maximum land speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) is possible in the HydrOPLus – the electric is a little slower – with both models managing 6 knots (11 km/h or 7 mph) on the water. Both versions can also carry six passengers on land (including the driver), and four when in boat mode.

The double-layered hull is constructed of high-density polyethylene, and is compartmentalized in order to help the vehicle stay afloat and stabilized if damaged. Propulsion in the water is achieved using a rear-mounted marine-grade propeller, that's run by the same motor that turns the wheels when on the road. Simply pulling a lever lets the driver switch between modes.

Although H2O would ultimately like to distribute Salamanders worldwide, the company is working towards selling them in barangays (villages) for now, and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help finance that goal. The estimated price range is 295,000 to 495,000 Philippine pesos (about US$6,614 to $11,098).

To see the Salamander in action, check out the video below.

Sources: H2O Technologies, Kickstarter

H2O Salamander

6 comments
Rehab
Looks a little unstable on water. Perhaps try flotation side tubes on a 4x4 ATV. Good luck with your project.
Tim Jonson
the first third of this video clip is garbage
William Bungay
I want one.
Martin-tu
So in anything more than a six knot current, you just have to 'go with the flow'.
Stuart Wilshaw
For a better video without the naff introduction, see: https://youtu.be/gXb9krC53GQ
Tom Lee Mullins
I believe it is designed when towns are flooded in the Philippines. I think it fills a need. I like it. I think it is need.