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Is the Philippines Ready for Electric-Powered Jeepneys?

One group suggested that we take their initiative of turning from diesel engines to lithium-ion batteries in jeepneys.

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Electric-Powered Jeepneys is the future!

After the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in the Philippines enforced the PUJ modernization program by the Duterte administration, several companies responded by showing their designs of a much safer and less carbon-emitting versions of the jeepney.

One of these companies is Japanese truck maker Isuzu. It introduced an 18-seater modern jeepney carrying 12% more cargo than conventional jeepneys. Theirs has 2,325 kilograms of payload.

“The modern jeepneys are designed to meet regulations in emission, safety and roadworthiness. It will also provide better passenger comfort,” noted Joseph Bautista, a division manager at Isuzu Philippines’ marketing department.

While this Isuzu jeepney still runs on diesel, a local startup wants to pitch a more environmentally-friendly option: get this form of Philippine transportation to run on electricity to be known as green jeepneys.

Electric-Powered Jeepneys. Photos by Frank Schuengel via Inside EVS
Electric-Powered Jeepneys. Photos by Frank Schuengel via Inside EVS

QEV Philippines Electromobility Solutions and Consulting Group, Inc., or simply QEV Philippines, has designed its own version of the modern jeepney which is powered by lithium-ion batteries. The company is a satellite office of Singapore-based electromobility holding firm QEV Capital Pte. Ltd.

“The jeepney is as much Filipino as all of you,” tells Endika Aboitiz at the unveiling ceremony in July at The Fort in Taguig City. He is an investor in the proposal of powering an initial 50,000 jeepneys over the five years with lithium-ion batteries instead of diesel engines.

“It is like London’s double-decker bus, it in itself is a moving museum,” he added. “Taking the jeepney away is taking away a piece of our colorful history, an icon that many have come to associate with the Philippines. We can preserve the jeepney and modernize it without taking away its charm.”

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The lithium-ion batteries are designed to have a range of up to 140 kilometers, with 80 kilometers at minimum, depending on load and conditions. They can be charged from 20% up to 80% in just 15 minutes, to be facilitated by Cleanergy network which is AboitizPower’s clean and renewable energy brand.

Electric-Powered Jeepneys. 
Electric-Powered Jeepneys. Photos by Frank Schuengel via Inside EVS

Meanwhile, the conversion work will be taken care of by Sarao Motors, a local jeepney manufacturer. It can produce green jeepneys from scratch.

Electric-Powered Jeepneys. Photos by Frank Schuengel via Inside EVS

According to a press release, the green jeepney was developed by engineers with ample experience in high-profile electric car ventures. Campos Racing is one of the teams behind the Arcfox-7, an electric supercar by Chinese outfit BAIC, and in the Mahindra entries in the Formula E last season, among others.

If the Philippine government really wants to produce virtually no-emission jeepneys, then this one is the way to go. Not only is this jeepney all electric, it is expected to seize an estimated 540 tonnes of carbon million trees and earn $35 million in United Nations carbon credits.

Moreover, the charging stations are also expected to help save 375 million liters of oil per year. That is equal to 3% of the country’s total imported Brent crude barrels.

This should not worry jeepney drivers when it comes to costs too, as QEV Philippines assured that they can save about P40,000 a year for energy and maintenance.

It is not the company’s intention to replace the existing jeepneys, but instead only to rehabilitate through its retrofit kit.

“What we propose is not replacement, but rehabilitation,” said Enrique Bañuelos, a businessman who partnered with Aboitiz and QEV Philippines for this project.

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“Rehabilitate old jeepneys and make them like new, complete with electrical motors that will make it run on electricity instead of diesel.  Help drivers pay for the rehabilitation, through a special program that the Philippine government will make out for them—and in the end put more money in their pockets because the costs of charging with electricity would be so much cheaper than filling it up with diesel,” he added.

Source: Inside EVS

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Engr Eva Allanigue
Chemical Engineering graduate with a passion in writing weird stuff at GineersNow. Official globe-trotter with luxury luggage, bags & accessories. Follow me on Linkedin


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