World’s 1st electric rickshaw ! Yogyakarta
In November 27th 2019, the rickshaw driver Yogyakarta has agreed with the Special government of Yogyakarta Province to adapt electric rickshaw starting end of 2020.
Rickshaw, or called as Becakl in Yogyakarta is tricycle vehicle use for tens of years. Its a basic transportation before machines and car dominate the street of Yogyakarta.
It was and Andong, a horse driven vehicle that become the transportation of choice for the royal and riches in Yogyakarta.
Then due to demand of travelling that increase, the bicycle is doing its era in the 60s to the 80s. Along with this bicycle, the demand for more than 1 person transport is developing. The BECAK is a tricycle, man powered, labor intensive vehicle, powered by paddling by the driver and able to take more than one person and has roof.
Since then, Becak is everywhere.
Then the era of motor is coming, in the early 2010s some of the becak driver start to convert their man-powered vehicle with attached motor. So they can use less labor and just filled the gas into the becak. Travel farther and faster.
Thus the population of motorized tricycle rickshaw are becoming too many. With less control of how healthy the motor is, it become one of the pollution of its exhaust. Mostly, because 2-stroke engine is cheaper, the engine of choice is old 2-stroke engines, donate one of the biggest pollution in Yogyakarta.
The agreement on 27th November 2019 between the Yogyakarta government and the Becak driver are to use electric motor starts end of 2020.
With better regulation and uniformed spec of size of the vehicle and engine. Becak must not longer than 240 centimeters, less than 130 centimeters wide. Braking system and headlights standardization also mentioned and become rules, included daylight marker and proper braking system.
For the electric powered rickshaw itself, it has to has current less than 60 volts, power less than 1,5 kilowatt (more less 2 horsepower) when paddled also to charge the battery, or by charging to Indonesia electric outlet, 2 prongs, 220-240 volts on 50Hz.
It is a leap and local wisdom of Yogyakarta. When every other cities prefer to ban becak, Yogyakarta as one of the top tourism destination after Bali, has taken the win-win solutions with preserving the traditional transportation moda to support its tourism mission while also commit to reduce pollution in the city to become more comfortable tourism destination.