MANILA, Philippines - Tricycle drivers in Mandaluyong City are looking forward to getting their hands on the electric tricycles.
The city government and the Department of Energy (DoE) has turned over 20 of the electric-powered vehicles to the 49 tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA).
"This is a win-win situation for the community and for the tricycle drivers," said Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos. "The e-Trike emits no carbon dioxide to the environment, and at the same time tricycle drivers earn double than the usual. We will also be putting up several charging stations in the city making it the fourth in the whole world (after Houston, Seattle and Washingtong in the US)."
Tricycle drivers like Dioscoro "Dodong" Libardo, 50, who heads the TODA in Barangay Addition Hills, said welcome the e-Trike.
"With this, we will not be affected by future fuel hikes. This type is much better than the one we tested because this now uses lithium batteries," Librado said.
He said that with a gasoline-powered tricycle, they spend between P200 to P250 for fuel for an eight-hour trip. With the e-Trike, a full charge would only cost P45 and it could run for 24 hours.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, who attended the turnover ceremony last Wednesday, said shifting from tricycles running on conventional fuel to those running on electricity will reduce the overall pollution level and increase the income of tricycle drivers significantly.
"There are currently 3.5 million motorcycles and tricycles in the country that emit close to 10 million tons of harmful gasses and use more than $200 billion worth of oil each year. The only way we can insulate ourselves from external shock such as high oil prices is to implement long-term solutions that ensure energy sufficiency and sustainability for us and for future generation of Filipinos. The solution is in the E-tricycle project," the President said.
The E-tricycle project, which falls under the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project of the DoE, is supported by the Asian Development Bank.
Aquino said plans to build 20,000 more e-Trikes within five years will also create job opportunities nationwide.
The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …