How One Sri Lankan Engineer Is Transforming His Community and Local Economy


Sasiranga de Silva, an engineer in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is improving the health and well-being of his community by converting diesel-powered tuk-tuks to electric.

Converting to electric vehicles is an important part of the quest to eliminate carbon pollution and stabilize the atmosphere. It’s estimated that globally the transportation sector contributes about one-fifth of all global emissions; three-quarters of that comes from road travel. And it’s not just carbon dioxide emissions that are on people’s minds when they think about converting—it’s also clean air, less sound pollution, and greater economic potential.

On today’s episode of Heat of the Moment we hear first from Todd Watkins, the director of transportation for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. He discusses how the school system is changing its fleet of 1,400 buses to electric over the next 14 years.

Our featured guest Sasiranga de Silva is an engineer and lecturer at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. De Silva has developed a conversion kit that converts two-stroke tuk-tuks to electric, improving the health and well-being of his community and creating cost savings for local drivers.

Interested in learning more in the runup to COP26, the United Nations climate conference? We’re offering free access to an FP Analytics briefing called “Firm Zero-Emission Power.” Normally that’s only available to FP Insider subscribers, but you can read the report for free by submitting your email. Click here to learn more.

About Heat of the Moment: 
The climate change crisis can feel so formidable, so daunting, that instead of mobilizing people to action, it engenders paralysis. What could we mortals possibly do to prevent the calamity? A fair bit, it turns out. On Heat of the Moment, a 10-part podcast by FP Studios, in partnership with the Climate Investment Funds, we focus on ordinary people across the globe who have found ways to fight back. 
Hosted by CNN contributor John D. Sutter, Heat of the Moment tells the stories of the people on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
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