Philippines: Mandaluyong City gets 20 electric tricycles
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Philippines: Mandaluyong City gets 20 electric tricycles

Here’s another sigh of relief for Metro Manila’s pollution-weary citizens.

President Benigno Aquino III today led the turn over of 20 electric tricycles funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Mandaluyong City, one of the National Capital Region’s component cities.

And more e-trikes are expected to service the capital and in other urban areas by next year.

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20 electric tricycles now roam streets of Mandaluyong City in Metro Manila. (Photo from ADB)

According to the ADB:

Though the new e-trikes have higher up-front costs, older petrol tricycles are more than twice as expensive to operate and maintain in the long run. The cost savings will directly increase the incomes of e-trike operators.

The new ADB-supported e-trikes use lithium ion batteries, commonly used in laptop computers and mobile phones. The batteries can be recharged approximately 2,000 times, in contrast to lead acid batteries used in older e-trike models that need to be replaced every two years.

A recently concluded phase-one ADB pilot project demonstrated that the Philippines has the local manufacturing capacity and technical skills base to build and maintain a large e-trike fleet. Once thousands of e-trikes begin to be manufactured, many new jobs could be created.

Factoring in electricity required for charging the batteries, the e-trikes’ carbon footprint will be less than one quarter of petroleum-fueled tricycles’ carbon dioxide emissions.

As part of the pilot project, ADB will install four charging stations in Mandaluyong City, which will be able to charge the e-trike batteries to 50% capacity in less than 30 minutes. One of the charging stations will use solar energy.

Metro Manila is already familiar with electric vehicles.

Electric jeepneys or e-jeepneys are currently plying a number of routes in Makati City and Quezon City, after they were first unveiled in 2008. These e-jeepneys were first sold in 2009 after government decided to issue license plates to them.

A Facebook Page dedicated to eJeepneys says that an eJeepney “runs on pure electricity supplied by rechargeable automotive batteries thus it does not consume either gasoline or diesel to operate. It therefore has no noise, no fumes, no harmful emissions. It can be charged overnight for about eight hours on an ordinary wall outlet, much like charging a cellphone and run the next day for a minimum of 65 kms.”

Similar battery-powered electric tricycles are said to be in operation in Taguig City.

Do we save money from e-vehicles?

Over 3.5 million motorized tricycles are currently operating in the Philippines, producing more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide and using close to $5 billion of imported fuel each year, said the ADB.

“Every 20,000 e-trikes that are introduced to Manila’s streets will save the Philippines 100,000 liters of foreign fuel imports each day, saving the country about $35 million annually,” said ADB’s Principal Energy Specialist Sohail Hasnie, in an ADB press release.

“This initiative not only benefits the environment, but it also supports the Philippines drive to become more energy independent,” added.