COLOMBO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday said the country would launch electric tuk tuks by 2020 as part of the government's efforts to introduce "zero-emission" vehicles, which would cause minimum levels of pollution and carbon footprint.
Sri Lanka's tuk tuk is a popular mode of public transport which is widely used by locals and tourists.
Samaraweera said the introduction of the electric tuk tuk, also known as the three-wheeler, was an important new policy and part of the Paris agreement.
Sri Lanka had pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in the transport sector by 2020.
The number of three-wheelers in Sri Lanka had increased eight-fold since 100 and fuel consumption per person had increased from 90 liters to 100 liters during the same period.
In 2017, Sri Lanka spent nearly 3.5 billion U.S. dollars to import fossil fuels for electricity and transportation, which is equivalent to around four percent of the GDP.
Sri Lanka's excise tax is now structured in a way that diesel and petrol vehicles are taxed at a higher rate, making hybrids and electric vehicles more attractive, Samaraweera said.