The Philippines gets visited by at least cycles annually. A significant number of these manage to get landfall. But that is not even half of the story. The amount of rainfall that the country gets sets it as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Flooding has been a reality and even without landfall, the occurrence of the seasonal “Habagat” or Southwest Monsoon ensures that rainfall causes flooding in the most vulnerable areas that are also where a significant portion of the population resides.
Urban and rural flooding is a reality and there are ways to mitigate if not prevent this. When flooding occurs, it is always considered a calamity or disaster and lives and property are at stake. Transportation therefore is critical during such times. Thus, the necessity for Salamnder, an amphibious tricycle was born.
Designed by the country’s King of Bodykits Victor “Atoy” Llave with a group of enterprising youngsters whose purpose is to find a solution to the country’s flood problem, H20 Technologies recently unveiled the first ever Philippine made amphibious tricycle.
Branded as the Salamander, this amphibious vehicle took five years to develop and revolved around the concept of a five-seater motorized tricycle with a sturdy hull and fiber glass body. It is powered by a 250cc motorcycle engine, and can be controlled by a handlebar or a stick when the Salamander is running on water. The design team is also led by the company’s Chief Engineer, Lamberto Armada who also revealed that they have created two models that runs with either a mechanical or an electric motor. “Electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support these vehicles are still in its early stages. Years from now there will be charging stations situated throughout the urban areas but right now, people will have to resort to traditional methods instead. That’s why we created the fuel based version as well to ensure that we were able to bring our innovation to the people who need it today.” Armada went on further to say “the Salamander will help us to overcome the challenges we have today during rainy season with flooding; but also be ready as the market shifts to more sustainable and eco-friendly electric vehicles in the near future.”
Patented by H2O technologies, the Salamander can function like a normal tricycle on land, and transforms into an amphibious vehicle once operated in a watery environment. It can reach speeds of up to 80kph on land, and six knots in water with a full passenger load of six people including the driver. Deriving knowledge from his family’s boat manufacturing business, one of H2O’s founding member/CEO Dominic Chung derived his expertise from boat building and coordinated with Atoy regarding the tricycle’s unique body structure. “The Salamander was designed to withstand a certain degree of impact or damage and can still maintain its buoyancy and stability even in rough seas,” explains Chung.
Source: Readings from Topgear and http://manilastandardtoday.com/motoring/169351/salamander-aqua-trike-proudly-pinoy-made.html