Green group to make more electric jeepneys

Published by rudy Date posted on March 10, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – An environmental group advocating alternative energy solutions yesterday re-launched its electric-powered jeepney that it claims could help solve the pollution problem of Metro Manila.

According to the Green Renewable Independent Power Producer (GRIPP), its 14-seater electric-powered, four-speed jeepney will not cause any carbon emissions and is a quiet ride.

First introduced in Makati City in July 2008, the electric jeepney will now be built on a large number by the Philippine Utility Vehicle Inc. (PhUV). The electric jeepney was re-launched yesterday at the Eco Store at The Fort in Taguig City.

PhUV will assemble the manual transmission, 14-seater electric jeepney to the specifications of the buyer. According to PhUV, the 5-kilowatt electric jeepney is available. PhUV said the 7.5 kw model, which will soon be produced, has the power to go up the streets of Baguio or Tagaytay.

“We have been waiting for a like-minded partner and we saw that in PhUV,” said GRIPP spokeswoman Yvonne Castro. “So we are ready to roll out more electric jeepneys in the next few months.”

According to GRIPP, it decided to produce more electric jeepneys after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) allowed its first unit to be registered last October.

For its part, PhUV said it is eager to share its technical expertise with the GRIPP on its electric jeepney project. “I think going green is the way to go. We are very proud to be able to help the environment through our expertise in vehicle parts manufacturing and vehicle assembly,” said Rommel Juan, PhUV director and general manager of MDJuan Enterprises, exclusive assembler of the e-jeepney.

Priced at P625,000 per unit, the 14-seater e-jeepney is cheaper than a second-hand 22-seater diesel-powered passenger jeepney or a brand-new unit, which sells at P1 million.

Juan said that in the long run, the e-jeepney will be cheaper since only the batteries need to be replaced. “You don’t need an oil change and there are fewer moving parts,” he said.

Juan said the batteries used by the e-jeepney are locally manufactured and are the same ones used for golf carts. The e-jeepney uses 12 six-volt batteries, priced at P6,500 each, which need at least eight hours of charging on a 220-volt outlet. One battery can last two to three years before it needs to be replaced.

According to GRIPP, their target buyers at the moment are mainly resort owners. However, they are also looking at urban buyers.

“People in the cities create five times more carbon dioxide and help speed up global warming,” it said in a statement.

Owners of jeepneys and vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines can have their vehicles converted to use batteries for P300,000, GRIPP said, adding that there are 250,000 passenger jeepneys in the Philippines that consume 4.8 million barrels of diesel fuel per year. – Mike Frialde, Philippine Star

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