While the Philippines’ ubiquitous jeepney is viewed as a the country’s foremost means of public transportation, this elongated version of the jeep also contributes heavily to air pollution and road traffic. With the introduction of the electric jeepney, though, metropolitan areas will be cleaner and greener, particularly in Makati, where the first e-jeepney franchise launched earlier this week.
The first commercial electric jeepney was launched in Makati City this Monday, February 27, through commercial franchise-holder EJeepney Transport Corporation (EJTC). Present in the launch were officials from the Makati City government, and representatives from non-government organization Institite for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC).
Red Constantino, iCSC director says the move toward electric public utility vehicles (PUVs) is not just a commercial concern, but rather represents the “rapidly growing community pushing for green solutions.”
Meanwhile, the first commercial electric jeepney operator says they will welcome competition from other firms who might want to get into the e-jeepney business. “[W]hat we want is to have more green operators replicating the initiative all over the country,” says EJTC CEO Yuri Sarmiento, highlighting that electric jeepneys are commercially feasible even for small operators.
Senator Ralph Recto, author of the Alternative Fuels Incentives Bill pending in the Philippine Senate, also graced the event. Known as Senate Bill 2856, the proposed law aims to provide policy support and incentives to vehicle operators and manufacturers in order to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels and energy sources, as well as promote low-emission vehicles — such as hybrid cars — in the country.
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