ECO-FRIENDLY e-jeepneys are set to replace some 200,000 diesel-powered passenger jeepneys over 15 years old by 2020.
But the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program doesn’t come cheap.
The E-jeepney is estimate to cost between P1.2 million and P1.6 million. And because of the steep price tag, despite government subsidy, critics say some 600,000 drivers and 300,000 operators might lose their livelihood.
Thus explains the series of protest actions staged by transport groups, many of whom were also admittedly resistant to the idea of modernization. They insists aging jeepneya should be refubished instead, not phased out.
“As studied, using of electric vehicles (EVs) instead of conventional vehicles that uses oil can reduce 2.3 tons of carbon dioxide. It has been proven already that using these EVs are environment-friendly,” Mariz Arias, an electrical engineer from the University, told the Varsitarian.
The E-jeepney is eyed to have solar panels for roofs and to be powered by Euro 4 engines. These engines have better emission standards because their fuel contains significantly low sulfur and benzene that are air pollutants.
“Using these EVs may decrease the oil consumption and reduce pollution. However, there are other factors that should be studied and analysed such as charging infrastructures, social and economic variables,” Arias added.
An additional demand may arise due to the charging of the EVs to the power system network. He added that the use of EVs has been encouraged and adopted in many countries primarily to
increase energy security and to reduce emissions. It can also be effective for the Philippines given that a careful study and consideration on its other implications will be done.