From electric Jeepneys and electric tuk-tuks to a coconut oil-fueled bamboo taxi, the Philippines are no stranger to renewable energy vehicles. The pace of change could increase significantly soon, if a plan supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) goes through and the efforts of Manila Electric come to fruition. The ADB is providing a $300-million loan to help get 100,000 electric trikes on the streets of the Philippines by 2017.

Executives at the Manila Electric utility, aka Meralco, know that electric passenger cars are rare in the Philippines, but that's not stopping them from putting into place a program to install locally produced public charging stations. Made by Meralco, the eVehicle Power Stations are only available in prototype form right now and, since they will cost an estimated $23,000 each, according to the Wall Street Journal, we assume they are DC fast chargers. Meralco may even some day make electric vehicles.

The other program, for all those trikes, is being run by the ADB with the intent to shift some of the 3.5 million dirty fossil-fuel-powered bikes and trikes in the Philippines to cleaner electricity. E-trikes are not unheard of there, but with this new push for electric mobility, they will likely become much more popular.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      Replacing dirty 2-stroke bikes with EVs will make a huge difference in highly polluted 3rd world countries. Anyone who has been there, or other south east Asian cities, will know.
      Vince
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is partially a good idea, the 2 stroke bikes kick out a lot of soot, your eyes sting, most trikes are only used as public transport and do 5km each hit, then they bank up at central locations. it is a good idea, they will need to think holistically as the grid tends to brown out, and is heavy on coal. I wouldn't pass up a micro range extender for a project like this, and also sound machines as kids jump infront of everything over there.
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pollution is a significant problem in the Philippines. There is, however, another problem: Electricity availability can be spotty there, especially in the southern islands (e.g., Mindanao). Jeepneys are a very popular method of transport, but badly pollute the air with their diesel exhaust. Emissions equipment would help, but Jeepneys are typically hobbled together from old parts.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Moving the developing world's two and three wheelers to electric will do an enormous amount to save lives.
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        And reduce poverty. But look both ways, or put futuristic sound makers on these. The amount of pedestrian accidents will become a bigger problem I'm afraid.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ryan
          There is the technology where fake engine noises are added for the blind that could be used here. Mine will play, 'tequila' as I drive by...
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Getting people to toot their horns is not normally a problem in countries like the Philippines!
          Richard Lam
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          I was therpictureweekg this past June. One of the taxi drivers had rigged his horn into a trigger switch and firing it off faster than some machine guns....it was quite a culture shock to be honest. Also that pictur looks like Fuente Osmena Circle in Cebu City.... While I was therr I really had trouble with the pollution and fumes everywhere. Really wish their economy to improve to be able afford even basic clean air technologies like catalytic converters. I feel so bad for them. Talk about contrast, going on a jeepney was a huge difference compared to my Volt..hah...
          Aaron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Having been there several times, that's how the drivers communicate. Seriously.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was going to say that this is the biggest improvement for poorer parts of the world that is currently happening. A moments reflection made me realise that this is not the case, and that immense strides are being made, in spite of all the woe we read in the papers. Biggest of all perhaps if we can get a really effective design would be solar ovens, as the use of dung and wood fires in the home is responsible for a huge toll. Another option may be bio-degradation and the use of the methane to provide cooking. What we can do right now is provide lighting with solar pv. Although I have been critical of many of the places solar is inappropriately used in the developed world at northerly latitudes, for the third world where almost everyone is fairly close to the equator and the grid is underdeveloped it is a huge boon. There are also many systems now for purifying water very cheaply, for instance: http://dvice.com/archives/2009/05/solaqua-a-conce.php?p=1&cat=undefined# The efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates to improve health and in particular to eradicate polio and reduce malaria are also profoundly important. The mobile phone revolution in the developing world allowing much better access to markets and reducing difficulties in marketing surplus food etc is now getting powerful allies. This is a great time for the rise of a couple of billion people from absolute poverty.
      kEiThZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      They don't need more vehicles. They need more transit.
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