Philippines gives green-light to electric tricycles

Dec 11, 2012
Marseille's police agents patrol on "T3 Motion" electric standup vehicles, on September 2 in the centre of the French city of Marseille. The Philippines is to roll out 100,000 electric tricycles in an effort to replace the petrol-powered ones that currently ply its cities, one of the project's financiers said Tuesday.

The Philippines is to roll out 100,000 electric tricycles in an effort to replace the petrol-powered ones that currently ply its cities, one of the project's financiers said Tuesday.

The "e-trikes" would provide an alternative to the gas-guzzling, smoke-belching motorised tricycles that now ferry Manila residents through narrow streets not served by buses, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

ADB energy specialist Sohail Hasnie said the lender hoped the e-trikes would eventually replace some of the estimated 3.5 million gas-powered motorcycles and already in use in the country.

"It will not stop at e-trike. It will expand horizontally to other transports like buses... and once that happens, nationwide, the country's consumption of oil will come down," he said in a video message.

The $500 million project received the green-light Tuesday but a launch date for the vehicles has not yet been set.

The e-trikes, powered by an electric motor with , cost only $1.20 for a daily charge compared to the $6-8 in fuel a normal tricycle burns every day, the ADB said

There has been generally favourable reaction to a of 20 e-trikes that have been in service in one Manila district since last year, the bank said.

The ADB is lending the Philippines $300 million to acquire the vehicles.

The project will also get an $105 million in a soft loan and grant from the United Nations' Fund, which is administered by the ADB, the bank said. The Philippine government will provide $99 million.

The loans will also put up five solar charging stations so the e-trikes can be powered up without drawing on the , the ADB said.

Other countries have also expressed interest in the e-trikes, said Hasnie.

The Philippines hopes to eventually become a centre for manufacturing these vehicles, he added.

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