A Japanese company is hoping to win a big slice of Asia's tuk-tuk market, it said Wednesday, betting that battery-operated buggies could cut burgeoning city pollution.
"There is no single company in Asia that mass-produces electric bikes or tricycles," said Terra Motors president Toru Tokushige.
"I think it could have a big impact if a Japanese company is the pioneer in the market with products of such a futuristic design."
Terra Motors unveiled the prototype of their electric tuk-tuk, a sleek-looking blue and white machine that can carry up to six people, including the driver.
The vehicle, 3.3 meters long and 1.47 meters wide, is powered by a lithium battery, and can run 50 kilometers on one full charge, the company said.
Terra Motors is hoping to win the bid for part of a Philippine government contract that is expected to see 100,000 electric tricycle taxis on the country's streets by 2016.
The Japanese firm is aiming to become the world's number one seller of electric tuk-tuks over the next two years, the company said, without providing precise figures.
Tuk-tuks, a cross between a motorbike and a tricycle, are a common form of transport in urban areas across Asia. They usually have small, petrol-powered engines that are blamed for causing serious air pollution.