The $500-million electric tricycle (e-tricycle) project of the government and the Asian Development Bank is gearing for launch with bidding for the supply contract set early this year and with several local governments units (LGUs) expressing interest to host green transport, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Bidding of the contract to supply e-tricycles may take place in March, Evelyn N. Reyes, OIC-director of the DOE’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau, told reporters.
She also said several LGUs such as Quezon City and Mandaluyong had expressed commitment to deploy an initial 500 e-tricycles while others are seeking meetings to discuss the merits and mechanics of hosting e-tricycles running on lithium ion batteries.
As many as 100,000 units will be deployed until 2016.
ADB has approved some $4 million in funding for electric charging stations, Reyes said. Under the e-tricycle project, two charging stations will be put up per host-LGU.
DOE is also discussing with LGUs a range of business models such as loan guarantees and lease-to-own schemes that may be used to make the e-tricycles available to interested operators, Reyes said.
In Dec. 2012, the DoE said it had prequalified several prospective bidders for the government’s electric tricycle project. The companies need clearance from the ADB, which is extending a $300-million loan to replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycles in the country, Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said.
Authorities hope the project will develop the local market for electric vehicles such that private companies may be encouraged to sell such green transport products commercially.
The idea seems to at least interest manufacturers such as Terra Motors Corp. of Japan, which is among those targeting the Philippines for e-tricycles and e-bicycles.
In a separate interview, Terra Motors business development director Teppei Seki said that the company was ready to release products to the local market when possible.
Brands known for traditional motorcycles have not introduced equivalent e-motorcycles in the Philippines as they study the viability of such products locally.
The Philippines, which has more than 3.5 million motorized tricycles and 3.88 million motorcycles on the road, seeks to curb its dependence on petroleum-based products and reduce air and noise pollution.
The tricycles alone are estimated to produce more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide and use up nearly $5 billion worth of imported fuel yearly.