CAGAYAN DE ORO City, July 8, 2011â€”The 1st electric passenger jeepneys in Northern Mindanao are only found in this capital city and regional center.
Environment-friendly and cost-efficient, these e-jeepneys can be found in Mindanaoâ€™s benchmark for eco-friendly developmentsâ€”Pueblo de Oro Business Parkâ€”plying as shuttle services in its environs, especially to and from the surrounding subdivisions, mall and universities.
But plans are in the boards to bring the e-jeepneys out of Pueblo de Oro and into the cityâ€™s thoroughfares as part of Pueblo de Oroâ€™s campaign for the environment.
The only hindrance to make this a reality is the lack of franchise from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said Rommel T. Juan, vice president of PhUV Inc., one of Filipino companies that make the e-jeepneys.
Juan told journalists during a press conference, July 5, following the launching of Primavera Residences, the first environment-friendly condominium high-rise in Northern Mindanao, that e-jeepneys are the commutersâ€™ vehicle for the future, which he said is already here in the present.
â€œE-jeepneys are environment-friendly because it does not produce any harmful gas from its exhaust because it has no exhaust system. It does not create noise,â€ he said.
Unlike conventional, fossil fuel-fed vehicle engines, which produced harmful emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide that can contribute to climate change and global warming, e-jeepneys do none of the above, thus helping in mitigating climate change and global warming.
Studies showed that for every liter of diesel, a convention fossil fuel-fed engine releases into the atmosphere at least 3,150 grams of carbon dioxide and 16 grams of nitrous oxide.
But the e-jeepneys produced nothing, but speed. It can cruise up to a maximum of 35 km/hr.
E-jeepneys uses ordinary batteries for power. This can be recharge for eight hours. A fully-charged battery can power the e-jeepney for up to 55 kms.
An ordinary e-jeepney, Juan said, uses 12 rechargeable batteries. And each e-jeepney can carry a rated load of 2,000 kgs. and can ferry 14 persons.
Despite the acceptability of the e-jeepney for todayâ€™s mode of transportation, its makers are still having a hard time getting it registered at the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
â€œFortunately, the LTO recently ruled that we can now register the e-jeepney and other electric vehicles like the electric quadcycle (e-quad) and electric bicycle (e-bike),â€ Juan said.
â€œHowever, we still cannot charge passengers with a fee because the LTFRB has not yet granted franchises for e-jeepneys. That is why we are only asking donations from passengers,â€ he added.
Juan said the future of the e-jeepneys still depends on it profitability and without a fare rate, it would be hard to do business since its makers also need to earn to keep their business afloat.
This is the reason why e-jeepney manufacturers like PhUV Inc. are pushing for the immediate passage of the Electric Vehicle Bill of Senator Ralph Recto. (Bong D. Fabe)