Press Release
April 14, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), lauded the Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s electric tricycle project, saying that this is necessary step towards ending oil dependency and fighting pollution.

The ADB is funding the e-trike project in line with the governments National Electric Vehicle Strategy, which aims to replace conventional modes of transport with more environmentally friendly options.

Angara said that COMSTE has identified the development of electric vehicles and green transport as priority projects of the commission for 2011.

Angara said that innovative Green transport systems such as electric tricycles, hybrid jeepneys, buses and electric bicycles have the potential to lessen pollution caused by conventional transportation and the dependency on fossil fuels.

"We import roughly 96% of our petroleum, the majority of which is consumed by the growing transport sector. This same sector accounts for the biggest share of the energy use, nearing 40%," said Angara, who Chairs COMSTE.

COMSTE is partnered with the Electric Vehicle Alliance of the Philippines (EVAP), which met with the Clean Air Initiative Asia (CAI-Asia) and various government agencies and industry players to lay out plans for developing the e vehicle industry, including petitioning the ADB to source the design and manufacture of e trikes to local suppliers and manufacturers.

"Once thousands of e-trikes begin to be manufactured, many new jobs could be created," the ADB said,

"Working together, we can give Manila cleaner air, bluer skies, and a more livable environment," said Kunio Senga, director general of ADB's Southeast Asia Department. "The Philippines is assuming a leading role in Asia in supporting green transportation alternatives, and if e-trikes are followed by new fleets of electric buses and jeepneys, the effect could be transformative."

The ADB said that the new e-trikes utilize lithium ion batteries, instead of heavier and environmentally-unfriendly lead acid batteries used in earlier e-trike models. The weight of the lithium ion battery is approximately 40 kilos, compared against 140 kilos for lead acid batteries of equal capacity - the equivalent weight of two adult passengers.

While the cost of lithium batteries is almost double that of lead acid batteries, their operational life is 15 times longer, the bank said.

E-trike owners will save approximately 200 pesos a day in fuel costs. Petroleum-fueled trikes cost use 5 liters of fuel a day, at a cost of PHP 230 ($5) vs. a daily cost of PHP 30 (66 cents) to recharge the lithium batteries.

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