Pinoys are seen to benefit from a "green revolution" with the Asian Development Bank's approval of a $300-million loan for the full rollout of the country's e-tricycle (e-trike) program.
The groundbreaking project to be implemented by the Energy department is aimed at replacing 100,000 gas-burning tricycles in the Philippines with "clean, energy-efficient electric tricycles," the ADB said in a statement.
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The e-trikes, which run on electric motors and lithium-ion batteries, will be deployed to Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country under a lease-to-own agreement.
Completion of the project is expected by December 2017.
It is seen to cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 260,000 tons, with the ADB noting that the gasoline-fuelled tricycles account for more than two-thirds of all air pollution generated by the country's entire transport sector.
The Philippines' dependence on foreign fuel imports is also expected to be reduced with projected savings of $100 million.
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"This project can help transform transportation in the Philippines, and positions the country as a leader in electric vehicle development in Asia," ADB Country Director for the Philippines Neeraj Jain said.
"E-Trikes are a cleaner, greener transport solution for the Philippines, and provide a better quality of life for trike drivers," he added.
ADB noted that about 3.5 million gas-fuelled motorcycles and tricycles ply Philippine roads at present with the average tricycle driver earning less than $10 a day.
Citing assessments of its pilot deployment of 500 e-trikes in Metro Manila, ADB said that drivers may double their daily incomes due to savings in fuel cost and bigger vehicle capacity.
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For her part, Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson noted that up to 100,000 additional jobs will also be generated during the five-year implementation of the program which will involve domestic fabrication and assembly.
This, as ADB noted that the project also includes the development of a "national e-vehicle industry" including improved technology for e-vehicle parts, battery supply chain and charging stations.
The $300-million ADB loan will be added to the $105 million also to be administered by the multilateral bank under the Clean Technology Fund, as well as the $99 million counterpart fund from the Philippine government.
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