Japanese e-tricycles could help The Philippines cut carbon emissions by two thirds

Motorized tricycles are a popular form of passenger transport on the nation’s roads in the Phillipines, carrying between four to nine passengers, they are a common sight all over the country from the residential areas of the capital Manila, to the countryside’s highways. However, an Asian Development Bank study shows these gasoline-fueled tricycles are responsible for more than two-thirds of all air pollution generated by the country’s entire transport sector, and without intervention, the carbon emissions are set to almost quadruple in less than 25 years.

To stall carbon emissions and cut down on the noise pollution the tricycles cause the country will soon begin implementing a plan to replace 100,000 gasoline-burning, air-polluting tricycles by 2016. The Philippine government hopes the e-tricycle project will cut down on noise, save more than $100 million a year in fuel imports, create jobs through local production of e-tricycles and decrease annual carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 260,000 tons.

The  Japanese electric vehicles maker and distributor Uzushio Electric Co. is making a bid to distribute electric tricycles in the Philippines. Tokushi Nakashima, head of BEET Philippine Inc., a local subsidiary of Uzushio Electric Co., told a press conference on Monday that his company has submitted a bid to the Asian Development Bank, which is providing $300 million toward the e-tricycle project being carried out in cooperation with the Philippine government.

The company, which opened in March, also registered its e-trike model with the Philippines’ Land Transportation Office, affirming its roadworthiness and making it accessible for interested private consumers.

Nakashima said Uzushio Electric, having developed more than 50 models of electric vehicles in Japan, is ready to help the Philippines solve its environmental woes through participation in the project, while at the same time improve the lives of tricycle drivers who are expected to take home a bigger daily income because electricity costs less than gasoline.

BEET’s e-tricycle is made of five key components, which satisfy the requirements for the Philippines’ various road and weather conditions: a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, an AC motor, an inverter, a vehicle control unit, and a battery management system.

Weighing around 500 kg, it accommodates up to seven people including the driver, runs at speeds of up to 60 kph and can cover 50 km on a single charge.

BEET Philippine announced that it had also tied up with Softbank Mobile Corp. to develop a billing system for lease or loan payment, as well as the integration of an advanced telecommunication system to track the trikes. The company is now in talks with potential assemblers in the Philippines in preparation for mass production, though whether the bid is successful or not remains to be seen.

Source: The Japan Times

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