The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has called on various transport groups and on government to seriously take a look at electric vehicles as possible, viable replacements for old, dilapidated and polluting jeepneys and tricycles.
EVAP President Rommel Juan said that currently, there are about 350,000 old jeepneys with an average age of 20 years that are spread all over the archipelago.
“Add to this 3.5 million tricycles, with some of them still using the smoke-belching two-stroke motors that have been banned by the Clean Air Act,” Juan noted in a statement.
He believes that the future of the Philippine mass transport system is here and it is electric.
“Electric vehicles are cleaner, more efficient, perfect for Philippine road conditions and are good for the economy. They are expected to spur the local auto industry with the development of local EV assembly and manufacturing,” he said.
“So again, we call on all the transport groups and on government, both local and national, to look into EVs as possibly the most viable replacements for our ailing public transport vehicles,” Juan added.
EVAP issued the statement in time for the 7th Annual Clean Air Forum, where regulators and stakeholders will attempt to quantify the economic benefits of the 16-year-old local clean air law.
From June 30 to July 1, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will lead the yearly review on the progress of Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act.
This year’s theme is “Toward Identifying the Economic Benefits of Clean Air: A Call to Action.”
The forum will be held at the Bulwagang Romeo Edu of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Quezon City.
The highlight of the two-day forum is a presentation by Dr. Serafin Talisayon of “Proposed Framework on Economic Benefits of Air Pollution Regulation,” which will show the methodology for valuation of impacts on the economy from exposure to air pollutants and for quantifying the benefits of air pollution regulation in terms of their contribution to the country’s economy.
The forum also aims to look for ways on how the clean air sector can help create opportunities for new jobs and draw interest from the private sector to invest in cleaner technologies.
Meanwhile, Juan said the EV industry is now ready to cater to the local public transport market. Its members now have the technology and facilities to supply the local public transport sector with cleaner and more modern versions of the jeepneys and tricycles known as the EJeepneys and the ETrikes.
EJeepneys have been running in Makati City since 2008 under its Makati Green Route project and now also ply Filinvest City in Alabang, Ateneo, La Salle, Meralco compound.
ETrikes, on the other hand, are now running in many areas around the country such as in Bacoor in Cavite, Boracay, Quezon City, Mandaluyong City and just recently, inside the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, under what is called as the E-kot Project.
Bodie Pulido, EVAP executive director, urges people and companies interested in joining the push for Public Transport Modernization to coordinate with the group, saying funding is now a major impediment.
He said they are ready to link interested investors and EVAP members to promote the use of EVs in the Philippines, believing that “this is possibly one of the better ways to modernize our public transport system.”
“We have found out that it is cheaper for operators to use electric vehicles than regular internal combustion engine vehicles because of the lower power cost and less maintenance,” Pulido added.
“Many foreign players are now in the country because they have identified the Philippines as possibly the best place to develop the EV industry and maybe make it the EV manufacturing hub in the region,” he said.
Pulido added that companies from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Turkey, Australia and the United States have been coordinating with EVAP to establish possible joint ventures with EVAP members and set up local operations.