E-trikes may give rise to P20-B industry

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 29 2012 08:00 AM | Updated as of Jun 29 2012 04:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The E-tricycles project of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department of Energy (DOE) will generate a P20-billion business in the Philippines, industry players said.

The Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) and the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said the industry can provide value-added parts and labor for the project.

“With most of our members operating at below 50 percent of their rated plant capacity, this program will provide incremental income and employment to our members,” MVPMAP president Ferdi Raquelsantos said in a statement.

“Some 50,000 employees are dependent on the local parts-making industry. Considering that more than 25 percent of our labor force is not fully utilized with 9.8 percent of them unemployed and another 19.2 percent of them underemployed, this E-trike program will help us and our employees get back on our feet,” Raquelsantos said.

MVPMAP is the organization of some 125 local auto parts makers while the newly-organized EVAP is composed of some 27 EV manufacturers, assemblers, importers, dealers, members of the academe and enthusiasts.

The ADB and DOE have started the search for manufacturers for the rollout of 100,000 E-trikes until 2016.

The implementation of the program aims to reduce the transport sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and enhance the standard of living of tricycle drivers.

“Major EV players from Japan, Korea and Taiwan were around to scout for local business partners for the E-trike program,” Raquelsantos said.

Foreign firms need to invest at least $8 million to put up EV manufacturing operations in the country, Raquelsantos said.

“This is enough to jumpstart our local EV industry and if we just play our cards right, we just might be the hub of EV parts supply and vehicle assembly in the region,” Raquelsantos said.

For EVAP president Rommel Juan, the 100,000 E-trike units valued at about $5,000 each will result in a P21.5-billion business in the country.

Juan said the EV industry is targeting to provide labor and produce value-added parts locally.

However, parts and components like motors, controllers, lithium ion batteries, steering systems and suspension systems still have to be imported.

All 100,000 units will be rolled out to local government units in 2012 to 2016.

The project also targets reducing the transport sector’s gasoline consumption by 561,000 barrels per year, resulting in the reduction of 260,000 metric tons carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“In terms of environmental protection, there are currently some 3.5 million tricycles and motorcycles in the country, contributing about 10 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere,” Raquelsantos said.

Under the E-trike program, the recharging stations will be put up in strategic locations like airports and tourist destinations.

In April, the government launched 20 E-trikes that are now plying the streets of Metro Manila.