By Alexander Villafania, Mon, Oct 8, 2012
Several months after the start a major electric vehicle initiative, a prototype of the winning electric tricycle (e-trike) design was unveiled by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The prototype was created by Japanese developer Itchiro Hatayama based on the design of a winning entry in the DOE’s E-Trike Design competition. The basic requirement for the design was for the vehicle to be a three-wheeled transport and have a maximum capacity of six passengers (excluding driver).
“The winning entry was enhanced considering the aspects of safety, functionality and production friendliness. Also taken into consideration were the terrain, passenger capacity and other local operating conditions of a tricycle, whether electric or not. An advertising space was even incorporated into the design for the operators to maximize revenues out of owning and operating an e-trike,” according to Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines.
Juan said that the next phase of the project is to schedule technical meetings with engineers from the DOE. Among the topics to be discussed are the e-trike’s later design, safety and other functional elements.
Several types of electric engines are available locally and can be
incorporated into the design of the e-trike, the industry group also said.
Other plans in the pipeline include discussions with manufacturers regarding manufacturing concerns, mass production, localization efforts as well costs for the project.
“We would like to maintain open communication lines with the DOE and we are happy that they have been very receptive to the concerns of the would-be end users, suppliers, assemblers and other players in the e-trike industry,” he said.
The E-Trike project was started in an effort to find alternative forms of public transport that are environment-friendly and produce less noise. Several places in the Philippines have already started their own electric vehicle projects, such as Makati, Taguig, and Iloilo, which used e-jeepneys.