The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $300 million towards a groundbreaking project that will replace 100,000 gasoline-burning tricycles in the Philippines with energy efficient electric tricycles, or E-Trikes.
“E-Trikes are a cleaner, greener transport solution for the Philippines, and provide a better quality of life for trike drivers,” said Neeraj Jain, ADB’s country director for the Philippines.
“This project can help transform transportation in the Philippines, and positions the country as a leader in electric vehicle development in Asia.”
About 3.5 million gas-fuelled motorcycles and tricycles are currently operating in the Philippines, typically serving as short-distance taxis, with the average tricycle driver earning less than $10 a day.
E-Trike drivers will save upwards of $5 a day in fuel costs, and the new E-Trikes have the capacity to carry more passengers. E-Trike drivers saw their daily incomes more than double during a pilot program in Metro Manila.
The new E-Trikes, which run on an electric motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, will be introduced to Metro Manila and other urban centers across the Philippines under a lease-to-own arrangement.
Replacing 100,000 gasoline-powered trikes will enable the Philippine government to save more than $100 million a year in avoided fuel imports, while decreasing annual CO2 emissions by about 260,000 tons.
“This project will lessen the Philippines’ dependence on foreign oil imports, and by fabricating and assembling the tricycles domestically, it will create up to 10,000 jobs in the 5-year project implementation,” said Loreta G. Ayson, undersecretary at the Depart of Energy.
In line with the government’s plan to develop a national e-vehicle industry, the project will support the establishment of an e-vehicle parts industry, battery supply chain, and charging stations, including five off-grid solar charging stations.
Without intervention, the Philippines is on a course to almost quadruple CO2 emissions in less than 25 years. Based on an ADB study, gasoline-fuelled tricycles are responsible for more than two-thirds of all air pollution generated by the country’s entire transport sector.
In addition to its $300 million loan, ADB is also administering another $105 million loan and grant from the Clean Technology Fund for other Philippine environmental-focused projects.
The national government is providing $99 million counterpart funding for the project. The project will run for five years, with an estimated completion date of December 2017.