Bristol energy systems integrator Auriga Energy has received R&D funding which will boost its development of fuel cells for power boats and tuk-tuks – the three-wheeled motorised rickshaws that are common in south east Asian cities like Bangkok.
Auriga Energy is based at the Bristol University’s SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre. The grant was awarded by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS), administered by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA).
The funding will enable the company to reach its next major milestone, the demonstration of an integrated hydrogen fuel cell system for marine, urban transport and light industrial applications.
The company has identified their initial target markets to be a fast rigid inflatable boat (RIB) for the police, fork lift trucks and motorised rickshaws. However, once commercially viable they hope to expand into other propelled vehicles including water taxis, canal boats, river barges, mopeds, motor cycles, airport or golf carts and lawn mowers.
‘If we can provide fuel cell systems to the tuk-tuk taxi services now running in the UK, we could eventually re-export the technology back to Asia,’ said Jas Singh, Auriga Energy’s managing director.