The Department of Energy and Asian Development Bank’s electric tricycle (e-trike) project has received the nod from the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) and the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP).
A $500 million funding from the ADB, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Philippine government is being allotted for the project, which plans to replace some 100,000 conventional tricycles with e-trikes over the next four years.
MVPMAP president Ferdi Raquelsantos said that the e-trike program will provide a big boost to the country’s ailing local parts-making industry.
“With most of our members operating at below 50 percent of their rated plant capacity, this program will provide incremental income and employment to our members,” Raquelsantos noted.
“Some 50,000 employees are dependent on the local parts-making industry. Considering that more than 25 percent of our labor force is not fully utilized with 9.8 percent of them unemployed and another 19.2 percent of them underemployed, this e-trike program will help us and our employees get back on our feet,” he added.
EVAP president Rommel Juan, meanwhile, said that the e-trike program will help reduce the oil importation as well as the country’s air pollution.
“The e-trike program targets to reduce oil importation by 6 percent in 2015, another 13 percent in 2020 and 40 percent by 2030. By any standards, this will be a considerable and commendable accomplishment,” Juan said.
“In terms of environmental protection, there are currently some 3.5 million tricycles and motorcycles in the country, contributing about 10 million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. The 100,000 units under the program is therefore just a start in a herculean effort to clean the air. But we need to start somewhere, somehow, sometime and the e-trike program is a very good start,” he added.
According to Raquelsantos, the project has already caught the eyes of foreign investors, judging from their interest in the recent 2012 Electric Vehicle Summit.
“Major EV players from Japan, Korea and Taiwan were around to scout for local business partners for the e-trike program.
Raquelsantos said that a potential investor would have to invest at least P688 million to put up an EV manufacturing operation in the country.
“That would benefit our local parts makers and labor force. This is enough to jump start our local EV industry and if we just play our cards right, we just might be the hub of EV parts supply and vehicle assembly in the region,” he noted.
MVPMAP is an organization of some 125 local auto parts makers while the newly-organized EVAP is composed of 27 EV manufacturers, assemblers, importers, dealers, members of the academe and enthusiasts.
“Both organizations have gone to the extent that in the proposed roadmap being prepared by the Department of Trade and Industry for both auto and auto parts industries, we have pushed for the inclusion of the EV and other alternative fuel vehicles into the road map. This will give both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives not only to the manufacturers but to the end users as well,” Raquelsantos said.