Plans to reinvent the iconic jeepney are getting a lift from the Department of Energy (DoE).
The DoE is looking at launching “green” jeepneys to boost the earning capacities of drivers and operators, lower carbon emissions, and pave the way for a cleaner transport system in the country.
After the House appropriations committee approved next year’s proposed P2.65-billion budget for the department, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Thursday that they were working on a program to launch e-jeepneys.
As the cost of converting legacy jeepneys into electric ones is huge, the DoE is approaching different institutions including Asian Development Bank and World Bank for help in shouldering the expense.
Last month, Cusi witnessed a start-up roll out a prototype in Bonifacio Global City and found the concept feasible enough to implement.
QEV Philippines Electromobility Solutions and Consulting Group Inc. plans to convert 50,000 jeepneys over the next five years, replacing their internal combustion engines with lithium-ion powered units. Only jeepneys not more than 10 years old can qualify for the program.
Cleanergy of AboitizPower Corp. will provide 300 charging stations.
QEV Philippines is now it talks with its partners and is considering taking in local manufacturers like Sarao Motors Inc.
Sarao Motors was part of the initiative to develop a prototype of the electric jeepney, which took seven months to build.
Jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the country, originally consisting of remodelled military vehicles left by US Armed Forces after World War II.