Cauayan City promotes green rides

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A parade of eTrikes marks the inauguration of the first public charging station in Cauayan City.
PHOTO BY LEANDER DOMINGO

CAUAYAN, Isabela: To help reduce emissions from vehicles using fossil-based fuel, the city government here on Monday last week launched the first electric-powered vehicle charging station in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) along with several eTrike prototypes.

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The launching was in collaboration with various stakeholders in pursuit of the city government’s program of becoming a “Smart City” based on standards outlined in an ordinance adopted in 2016.

The project called “Charging in Minutes” or Charm of the city government is in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Isabela State University (ISU), University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, and various private sector groups engaged in the manufacture and sale of electricity powered eBikes and eTrikes.

“We expect that the eTrikes will decrease carbon monoxide emission by 260,000 tons if we replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycles with electricity powered ones,” DOST Region 2 director Sancho Mabborang said.

The first Charm station in the region, which was made commercially viable by DOST’s funding support, is now operational at the ISU Cauayan City campus gate with college students as prospective primary users of eBikes and eTrikes.

Engineers from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI) of UP Diliman (Quezon City) were the brains behind the charging station’s design.

Leo Allen Tayo and Rovinna Janel Cruzate of EEEI said local stakeholders who are willing to develop cost-efficient prototypes would solve the affordability issues raised by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Earlier this year, Cusi shut down the $500-million Asian Development Bank-funded project to replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycle units with energy efficient electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Ropali Group (RG) here paraded cheaper and smaller prototypes designed to accommodate two passengers only.

Christopher Capistrano, the RG official who is leading a team working on eTrikes and eBikes, said the P450,000 price tag of the DoE’s abandoned prototype is simply not affordable to the masses.

The Providers Cooperative based in Naguilian town also presented a model similar to the DOE prototype which can accommodate eight to 10 passengers, ideal for passengers from villages away from the center of the city.

Another similar variant with a solar panel on its roof and back to charge the battery while running was also presented.

LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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