ADB Supports EV Expansion in the Philippines

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The Asian Development Bank is now working in conjunction with the Philippine government to promote the electric tricycle to be able to meet the country’s growing transportation requirements in a manner that is cost effective as well as environmentally responsible.

With a clear mandate showing that electric vehicles are highly efficient compared to the internal combustion engine, a ratio of seventy percent for the former to just twenty percent for the latter, the electric tricycle or e-trike is one of the programs that is now being considered worldwide. The e-trike produces no tailpipe emissions and no noise. The vehicle can be recharged overnight during off-peak electricity hours.

The multilateral financial institution would work with local government units and the private sector to create financing programs where tricycle drivers would have the opportunity to lease or own these e-trikes by paying less than two hundred pesos a day. This would provide a higher take home pay for the driver because a conventional tricycle would need almost seven liters of gasoline to travel 100 km. This would cost nearly three hundred and fifty pesos. Comparatively, for the same 100 km, this electric vehicle would use only about five kilowatt hours of electricity or just around fifty pesos per day. The cost difference in fuel savings would help the driver pay for the cost of the electric vehicle.

To complete the assembly as well as the chain of infrastructure support requirement for the projected 100,000 electric tricycles throughout the Philippines, the multilateral financial institution would be extending a financing loan of up to U.S.$500 million. While this is still a proposed amount, all the details are still being discussed especially the implementing rules and regulations for the program.

To expand the funding base for the project, there are discussions with local banks to provide additional financial support to ensure the complete implementation and success of the electric tricycle program throughout the country. While this is an ambitious target, there are now preparations being undertaken to finally deploy as many e-trikes as possible in as many local roads as possible. The program is expected to roll out 100,000 e-trike units by 2020 but the initial program provides for 20,000 e-trikes, where the pilot phase is being undertaken in Mandaluyong City.

According to estimates by ADB, each e-trike would cost around Php 200,000 to assemble, which is a major financial burden to both tricycle operators and drivers to shell out. To soften the blow, there is a package of investment incentives being recommended to allow the vehicles to become practical and affordable in the long run. ADB proposes no cash out from the drivers and operators but a system of concessional financing for the program cost.

The projected payback period would be five (5) years and can be offset from the Php 200 per day savings garnered from fuel savings because of the cheaper electric charging cost of the e-trike. It also proposes at least a thirty percent local component to handle the production side of the e-tricycle venture. The proposed areas for the e-trikes include Metro Manila, Metro Davao, Boracay, Puerto Princesa City and Cabanatuan City.