Plastic Expert are very pleased to welcome H2O Technologies and their product, the Salamander... Hello! Would you like to introduce H2O and the Salamander?
The H2O Salamander is the first of its kind; the only amphibious electric trike concept and the only utility trike vehicle that is able to travel on land and urban flood waters. It is powered by an optional full Electric Motor or an ultra-low emission internal combustion gasoline engine. The vehicle is environmentally friendly and helps in reducing carbon footprint on carbon emissions.
The H2O Salamander will come out with 3 models – For Utility (passenger & cargo), for Emergency & Rescue and for Recreational & Leisure. It is built for urban flood waters. Who came up with the Salamander and what can you tell us about the history of the vehicle?
The H2O Salamander is one of the innovations of H2O Technologies Inc, a research & development company based in Manilla, Philippines.
The Philippines is located in the typhoon belt, wherein almost 20 typhoons pass every year. Because of Climate Change, and other factors, floods are very common.
Across the Philippines there are over 42,000 Govt. Barangays (a community, village or a micro-municipal area) of which over 26,000 of these are flood prone, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).
We see this every time on the news when there is significant rainfall.
We are fully aware that there are issues with infrastructure today, the country and the people are in need of a solution. Otherwise, despite there not being any particular danger after the storms or typhoons have passed, flooding makes transport within our Barangays very difficult – slowing down the return to commerce and normality.
The Salamander looks to partner with Barangays by providing a cost effective way to ensure there is a fleet of vehicles capable of transporting people to safety. Also those who need to get back to normal work or employment, or even get back to their homes will be helped. Who would benefit most from a Salamander?
Our initial target market for the H2O Salamander is for the 26,000 flood prone Barangays,
which will benefit more than 60 million people in the Philippines, especially during floods. However on a normal day, the Salamander can be used as a fuel efficient & environmentally friendly, government owned utility vehicle.
At the moment, our sights are set on how we can make these vehicles available in at least 5% of the total Barangays across the Philippines which are the most flood prone. That way the priority of manufacturing will be to provide sufficient preparation for the next flooding disaster.
Other markets that would benefit are as follows:
⦁ Private individuals and companies living within the 26,000 flood prone areas
⦁ As a 'River Taxi' – an alternative mode of transport to decongest Road Traffic and use rivers and lagoons to travel as public transport.
⦁ National government utility vehicle
⦁ Police and military utility vehicle
⦁ Recreation & leisure for beach resorts ( not for inter-island travel).
⦁ Others Would the Salamander be useful to emergency service teams?
Yes, per recommendation from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC). We will come up with an Emergency and Rescue model that can be utilized during the aftermath of typhoons and floods. Are you working on any more innovations for the future?
Our future models will be larger and will accommodate more passengers. Do you think the demand for the Salamander will increase as sea levels rise and the risk of flood increases?
Yes. We believe the Salamander will quickly establish its place as we begin to see flooding worsen in the absence of the strong infrastructure that could help reduce the floodwaters throughout the country. We are very clear on the fact that putting in an entire drainage network is not an easy feat.
But the problem will not disappear and so we need an interim decision that not only solves the problem today, but is sustainable in order to still be applicable once a new drainage infrastructure has been completed.
Also the Utility Trike market in the Philippines plays a big part in its transporting heritage and we are confident that the Salamander will fit in well. How much do they cost, and can we buy one in the UK?
The initial price target ranges from US$ 6,500 to US$ 11,000 per unit (with full options). However, we are currently trying to find the best price possible for our market, and source the most appropriate parts, to ensure that we can maintain this balance of quality and cost.
We aim to come up with a cost effective, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle that can also address the relevant issues of our times.
For interest outside the Philippines, we are open to exploring investment partner options for the exclusive rights or licenses to assemble, manufacture and distribute the Salamander in their respective country. What is the Salamander made of?
Like most amphibious vehicle in the world specifically the United States, the H2O Salamander is made from a single piece, leak free mould using current composite technology.
We are using a patented double compartmentalized hull, that provides stability and buoyancy. It is durable, strong and lightweight. What uses can you see the Salamander having in five years time?
Currently, our main objective is to make the Salamander available in places where there would be the most impact by way of helping. This is why we are currently in talks with different public and private entities to help us determine where to go next beyond the first set of targeted Barangays.
In 5 years time, we would love to see a home grown innovation such as the Salamander go beyond the shores of the Philippines. Thereafter, any country that is also flood prone could easily take advantage of the Salamander.