Expat invention of bamboo tricycle may unclog Shanghai streets

Published:  24 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: China, Travel Abroad
A Shanghai-based British couple are hoping their innovative bamboo tricycle with persuade Chinese commuters to give up their gas-guzzling, polluting cars in favour of cheap running costs, a cool design and cleaner air.

The clever contraption, developed by long-term Shanghai residents Chris and Florence Trees, is an electric-powered three-wheeler constructed of woven and shaped bamboo on a steel foundation. The machine is able to seat up to three and costs the yuan equivalent of £4,000.

The invention was the couple’s response to the ever-increasing traffic chaos and pollution in the huge city, but seems only to be proving popular with the expat community at present. The Chinese preconception of tricycles as representing hard work and poverty seems to put off many would-be local buyers.

Mr Trees told the Telegraph that the ‘Treecycle’ is intended to slow the rush to car ownership in the already jammed city, although he admits that changing peoples’ perceptions is an uphill task. The worst problems faced by the couple are licensing the vehicles and securing financing to manufacture them on a commercial basis.

The cute machine can travel 110kms before its battery needs charging and has windscreens, speed control, brakes, solar-powered lights and an attractive woven bamboo canopy. The body is built from lightweight steel, and the trike’s organically-based design has a distinct retro flavour.
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