THE Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) is urging more local government units (LGUs) to think ‘green’ and pass more ordinances to promote the use of electric tricycles (e-trikes) as a replacement for the highly polluting two-stroke tricycles.
EVAP President Rommel Juan said on Thursday that progressive LGUs like Boracay, Bacoor in Cavite, Mandaluyong and even Coron in Palawan have passed ordinances to give additional benefits such as -trike special routes, promote its use, and even stop registration for two-stroke tricycles in favor of e-trikes.
He said some LGUs have expeditiously granted replacement franchises while others granted new franchises to e-trikes serving unserved, developmental routes. In some cases, LGUs exempted e-trike drivers from the payment of the franchise fee for the first two or three years and in securing the LGU registration plate, Juan said in a statement.
The EVAP is now encouraging more LGUs to go this route to help cut air pollution and provide livelihood opportunities for tricycle operators and drivers in the community.
Two-stroke motorcycles were originally designed for two passengers only and not for tricycle application and yet, they are being used for tricycles that carry four to five passengers. The result is over-exertion of the engine, which then produces thick black smoke.
Juan said many LGUs are campaigning to gradually phase out the two-stroke tricycles, especially after Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act was enacted in 1999.
“We are now reaching out to the 1,634 cities and municipalities throughout the country to promote this green advocacy and helping cities and municipalities draft a local ordinance to put in place an Electric Tricycle Program,” Juan said.
“Our member-companies have banded together to sell not just a fleet of e-trikes but a complete mass transport solution package. This includes retail financing, a battery charging and swapping station to ensure continuous operation all day long, and after-sales service nationwide in terms of trained technicians and spare parts,” he added.
What is advantageous with the program is that the e-trike driver’s daily boundary is actually his daily amortization to a loan. Thus, at the end of the three to five-year loan period, he ends up owning the e-trike, Juan said.
“This, in effect, also provides livelihood opportunities for the tricycle drivers in the community. We hope that many other LGUs follow suit so that our environment and air quality improves and business opportunities are generated in their respective areas,” he said.
Juan added: “We will also seek the endorsement of our very progressive and eco-conscious Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for this endeavor. We expect to have the e-trikes join the mainstream mass transport system in the country.”