For decades, the dirty diesel-burning jeepney has been the colorful face of public transportation in the Philippines. That may by about to change, with the introduction of the COMET (City Optimized Managed Electric Transport): a new approach to the traditional system, based around an eighteen-passenger electric vehicle.
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.
The Toyota GT 86 has been one of the brand's video stars this year, gobbling up millions of frames as it makes friends in each new land. The story is no different in the Philippines, where a troupe of GT 86 coupes starred in a precision driving and drifting display at an airfield.
What's better than supercars? Supercars getting together for charity. To raise money for the Red Cross after Typhoon Sendong hit the Philippines, a group of enthusiasts who dub themselves "Track Hos" rented an airstrip at Subic Bay, where they assembled a large collection of supercars and got down to the business making smoke and high-speed runs.
Conspiracy theorists will need to take a back seat for this story, as Petron, the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines, recently held a "race" called the Sprint 4T Endurance and Economy Run of 2009. This was the first year the event took place, and it was designed to pit two-wheelers with four-stroke engines against each other to finish a course within a prescribed time limit. Best of all, the winners were determined not just by what order they finished in but by how lit
The price of gas is getting out of hand everywhere. Ok, maybe not Venezuela, where its cheaper than our bottled water at ¢15 a gallon, but almost everywhere else, it's expensive. In the Philippines its so costly ($4.50 gallon in a country where, according to the Philippine National Statistics Office, the average household income is about $4,000 USD a year) that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has started testing neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) with the goal of putting them into re
Energtek, which we remember from their ANG (Adsorbed Natural Gas) projects, has announced that they can successfully convert a two-stroke engine to use natural gas. The converted vehicle, a Yamaha RS100T motorcycle with a locally-produced sidecar, was converted to burn natural gas by utilizing Energtek's ANG technology. The company claims that this is the first recorded success of converting a two-stroke engine for a large-scale commercial project.
Using a body of carbon fiber, Kevlar and epoxy swathed over a honeycomb core, the Sinag solar car, a first for the Philippines, is set to enter the 20th World Solar Challenge in Australia in October. The three-wheeled vehicle converts energy from the sun into electricity using 400 solar cells, silicon-based, which are capable of sending 2000 watts to a pack of lithium polymer batteries and in turn to the electric motor driving the rear wheel. Like other solar racers, the car seats one person and
The price of palm oil, which has gained favour over the last few years as a cheap biodiesel feedstock, is soaring. Another relatively new use of palm oil is as a trans-fat substitute for use in processed food. But the oil palm, grown mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, is not well liked - it has been blamed for rainforest destruction, the death of orang-utans, air pollution and exploitation of workers.
Last year Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo released an Energy Independence Agenda for her country that called for sixty percent energy self-sufficiency by 2010. Now the president has signed a bill into law that makes part of that plan mandatory. The Republic Act 9367 mandates five percent ethanol be blended into all gasoline by 2009 and ten percent by 2011. For diesel they have to add one percent biodiesel within three months and two percent within two years. The new law also elimin
It seems that the biofuels industry continues to expand with the news this week that Brunei National Petroleum Co. is looking to partner with the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) to build a biodiesel plant in the Philippines. Recently at an Asean Council on Petroleum meeting in Indonesia, PNOC officials revealed that they have received expressions of interest from several possible investors to pursue biofuels development.
While rapeseed/canola continues to be the main biodiesel feedstock in Europe, and soy dominates U.S. biodiesel production, a host of other plants are moving biodiesel forward in other parts of the world. In the Philippines, the Biofuel Act is about to pass into law mandating the immediate use of one percent biodiesel, increasing to two percent after two years. The numbers seem small but it has prompted a massive in-surge of investment in biodiesel production capacity with Chemrez Technologies pl