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Battery-powered tricycles set to hit city streets

More fleets of battery-powered tricycles may soon hit the streets of key urban areas in the country as a Cavite-based maker of electric vehicles (EVs) is in talks with partners in supporting “clean” mass transportation systems.

Possible team-ups for the deployment of EVs dubbed “e-taxi” are being explored as Japanese firm BEMAC-Uzushio Electric Co. said it expected its Philippine unit to produce in its Carmona plant 500 units monthly before year’s end.

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According to Yvonne Palomar-Castro, BEET Philippines Inc. assistant vice president for sales, marketing and operations, the volume is just half of the plant’s maximum production capacity of 1,000 units a month.

“[We are] working closely with Electric Vehicle Expansion Enterprises Inc. (EVEE-i) to be part of the first fully integrated EV mass public transport system in a commercial business district to be launched later this year,” Castro told the Inquirer.

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EVEE-i, the proponent of the e-jeepney initiative that rolled out in Makati, is itself also working to advance the first phase of its campaign that involves five fleets or 100 e-jeepneys in Metro Manila.

The initiative’s second and third phases are meant to expand the fleets by a total of 400 more units within a three-year period.

As for the BEMAC group, Castro said it was in similar talks with international funding and development agencies that are interested to make the company’s EVs part of their projects in the Philippines.

“Talks are also underway with different local government units that had seen and tested our unit and thus concluded that with the superior technology and strong after-sales we offer, we are the right company to supply to their TODAs (tricycle operators and drivers associations),” she said.

BEET Philippines is a partnership of BEMAC group and Almazora Motors Corp. (AMC), which has “more than 100 years of experience in bringing quality crafted automotive body and parts.”

BEMAC itself has been engaged in research and development on EVs for 16 years, and was able in 2003 to secure from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism a certification to manufacture such vehicles.

Earlier this month, BEMAC group chief executive Masato Oda led the presentation of an e-tricycle prototype to Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and Board of Investments managing head Adrian Cristobal Jr.

“Our unit is now Land Transportation Office-compliant and can be registered and insured,” Oda said in a statement. “I am confident that, right now, we are most capable of mass producing EVs in the Philippines as we are here for the long run.”

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TAGS: BEMAC-Uzushio Electric Co, Business, electric vehicles, News
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