Egypt has unveiled a four-wheeled light vehicle powered by petrol and natural gas that will replace the country's 3.5 million tuktuks in a bid to reduce their environmental footprint.

The ministries of trade and industry and military production showed off a prototype of the new vehicle following Egyptian authorities decision on Tuesday evening to ban the import of tuktuks and set a plan to replace them using alternative vehicles.

Tuktuks are three-wheeled vehicles used as taxis, common in a number of countries including Egypt.

Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed Ahmed Morsi explained that this vehicle is a sample of a proposed project between the National Authority for Military Production and the private sector company GB Auto Ghabbour to provide an alternative four-wheeled vehicle.

Trade and Industry Minister Nevin Gamea said the vehicle will be produced with a dual system engine, petrol and natural gas, which reduces the cost of transportation and operation and makes it environmentally friendly.

The number of tuktuks in Egypt is approximately 3.5 million, according to estimates, of which just 10 percent have an official licence.

Some see them as a public nuisance while others find them a cheap, convenient method of transportation.

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