Group sees more EJeepneys coming
Amid the increasingly intense discussions surrounding the inevitable replacement of some 350,000 15-year-old diesel-fed jeepneys around the country, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines has expressed optimism about replacing even just a small chunk of those vehicles with electric jeepneys.
EVAP president Rommel Juan says the association believes its members are now ready to help the government’s Jeepney Modernization Program by replacing the traditional jeepneys, which often belch smoke, with “cleaner” EJeepneys.
“The requirement is huge, so that is why we are confident there is room for everybody. As one, EVAP members are ready to supply the demand not as competitors but as partners,” Juan said.
The EJeepney movement in the country started eight years ago through an NGO called Green Renewable Independent Power Producer and the Philippine Parts Makers Association, with its affiliate Philippine Utility Vehicle Inc. as the pioneer manufacturer and assembler.
Initial units were deployed in Makati under its Makati Green Route. Now, there are EJeepneys plying routes at Filinvest City Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University, Meralco, and other resorts and establishments.
Juan explains that EJeepneys are the natural progression of the traditional public utility vehicles.
“They are environment friendly, pollution free, quiet and economical. Now that the government is serious about the Jeepney Modernization Program, we at EVAP are ready to take on the challenge,” he said.
“We just finished updating our EV Industry Roadmap, so we know exactly how to go about it. We are now encouraging investors to set up one of the most important EV infrastructure, the battery charging and swapping stations, so they would be in place in strategic locations before we bring in EJeepneys in big volumes.”
EVAP is also encouraging foreign players to come in, Juan revealed.
“But rather than putting up facilities by themselves and pouring in huge investments right away, we encourage them to partner with EVAP members first. Our members already have the proper business licenses and local know-how to cut the learning curve,” he said.
“This will also give them better control of the QCD (quality, cost and delivery) aspects of the business.”
“We are looking forward to a greener and brighter future for the Philippine public transport sector,” Juan said, “so that is why on June 29 to 30, 2017, EVAP is organizing with the Board of Investments and Meralco the first-ever ASEAN Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit 2017 at the World Trade Center.”
“We can show everyone that our EV industry is not far behind our ASEAN neighbors, and is ready to take on the challenge of jeepney modernization.”