Try taking a trip on a jeepney in the Philippines for more than a few minutes and the fumes from the vehicle and the thousands of others like it is certainly going to give you a cough. Polluted Philippines for sure.
Electric-powered jeepneys made their first commercial run Makati City. The new environment-friendly jeepneys rolled smoothly and quietly down Makati City’s main avenue. Gone were the traditional exhaust pipes and rumbling diesel engines.
For years, jeepneys and other forms of road transport have been blamed for rising carbon emissions in the Philippines, particularly in sprawling metropolitan Manila. Public utility vehicles (jeepneys and buses) accounted for 32 percent of total vehicles in the Philippines in 2005, according to USAID, and the transport sector ranked second after electricity generation as a source of CO2 emissions.
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 530,000 people die prematurely each year due to urban air pollution in Asia.
The e-jeepney was conceived with the intention of reducing carbon emissions while maintaining the livelihoods of hundreds of drivers and operators. The initiative has three main components: the e-jeepneys; a depot where the vehicles can be charged and maintained; and a power plant consisting of a generator, a gas engine, and a biodigester (a system that decomposes organic waste to produce biogas, which can be used to power electricity generators).
Another iconic form of transportation in the Philippines that is set to turn electric is the tricycle. In March, the Philippine government, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Meralco, the country’s largest electricity company, announced am ambitious $504m project to put 100,000 electric tricycles on the streets of Manila and other provinces by 2017. It is estimated that this fleet of tricycles would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by an estimated 260,000 tonnes per year .
The electric tricycles will be deployed to various local government units (LGUs) under a five-year rent-to-own scheme. The first phase, which will roll out 3,000 units, has already experienced difficulties, with LGUs delaying the contracts to supply the tricycles.