Speed Reads

the next generation

Sri Lankan teen uses scraps to build a solar-powered tuk-tuk

Suntharalingam Piranawan is just 15, but already has multiple inventions under his belt.

The Sri Lankan teenager has created everything from a coconut picking machine to a coconut scraper, and his latest construction is a solar-powered tuk-tuk, made entirely out of scrap metal. Tuk-tuks are three wheeled vehicles popular in South Asia, and Piranawan told BBC News putting his time and energy into building the tuk-tuk helped him relieve stress during the pandemic.

Piranawan's grandfather, Dureisami Suppaiya, supported him during the eight months it took to make the tuk-tuk, buying him second-hand frames, handles, and wheels. Piranawan has already decided his next project will be even bigger, telling BBC News he's "hoping to build a solar-powered car." He encourages others to follow his lead, taking scraps and turning them into something brand new. "It's really rewarding," Piranawan said.