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Groups back e-vehicles for public transport

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 12:46 AM August 08, 2015

Transport leaders have backed the proposal to use electric vehicles (EVs) as a viable replacement for jeepneys under the public transport modernization program, according to the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (Evap).

In a statement, Evap said a recent meeting on the Jeepney Modernization Program saw a show of support among transport groups, including the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), the Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap), the Pasang Masda and 1-Utak.

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“We want to assure (transport groups) that the electric vehicle industry is willing and able to support the transport industry’s clean, green and modern direction in public transport. We hope that with proof of concept now evident, they will consider e-jeepneys in their next re-fleeting program,” Evap president Rommel Juan said during the consultation meeting.

Altodap president Boy Vargas noted that they welcomed the use of e-jeepneys, adding that the results of current e-vehicle prototype testing have been highly encouraging.

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Fejodap head Zeny Maranan, for her part, said they were open to anything that could help improve the health of their drivers and commuters alike.

“In my experience, I now prefer to live in Antipolo rather than in Metro Manila as my asthma acts up in Metro Manila because of the air pollution. All we want in the transport sector now is for the government to provide funding so that we can afford to replace our old, diesel-fueled jeepneys,” Maranan said.

Vigor Mendoza of 1-Utak, however, pointed out that while they supported alternative-fueled vehicles and e-jeepneys, their primary concern was how the Jeepney Modernization Program could improve the quality of life of drivers.

“All these technological modernization initiatives will amount to nothing if its effects are not felt on the ground, by the biggest stakeholders in the industry, our jeepney drivers,” Mendoza said.

Evap earlier called on the transport groups and the government to consider electric vehicles (EVs) as a viable replacement for jeepneys and tricycles under a public transport modernization program.

“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 e-jeepneys and the e-trikes,” Juan earlier said.

Evap executive director Bodie Pulido earlier assured interested companies and individuals that the group would support those who would help in the promotion and massive use of EVs.

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“We will connect you with our members. Our main vision is to promote the use of EVs in the Philippines since we believe 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 e-vehicles than regular internal combustion engine vehicles because of the lower power cost and less maintenance,” Pulido stressed.

“However, funding is now a major impediment. We need funders to come in to fund the initial equity needed by the bank to finance a fleet of EVs. And we also need fund managers to help us make creative schemes to get funding for these EV projects,” he said.

The EV industry needs the support of the government through the passage of the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Bill into law as this outlined fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that will make EV players based in the Philippines more competitive compared to their counterparts in the region.

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TAGS: Business, electric vehicles, jeepneys, Transport
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