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DOE pushes for e-trike, energy-efficient public transport

Domingo: Alternative fuels program seeks to achieve energy security through fuel diversification while meeting environmental challenges.

In its leg of the information and education campaign through a Multi-Sectoral Forum on the Use of Alternative Fuels in Caraga region conducted last week in Butuan City, the Department of Energy (DOE) stood at the forefront in capturing the interest of over a hundred participants to advocate and be part in the localized implementation of E-trikes.

In his welcome message, representing in behalf of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional director Abner Caga, deputy regional director Fryan Abkilan emphasized that the government through the DOE and PIA has already been conducting series of campaign activities nationwide to enhance people’s awareness, knowledge and understanding about alternative fuels as future’s most cost-effective renewable resources.

“The present administration is in fact advocating the use of cleaner alternative energy fuels and the use of electronic vehicles,” Abkilan said.

The tips on smart energy use are also elaborated. There’s an emphasis on employing smart electricity consumption measure or action at workplace, at home, or wherever people might be to help save energy.

The forum aimed to present the importance of cleaner alternative energy fuels, energy technologies and the efficient utilization of energy for people’s appreciation.

E-trike to strike out pollution

Apart from compressed natural gas, auto-liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for taxis, the electronic vehicles (EV) or E-trikes are considered to likely improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

“Through the alternative fuels program, it seeks to achieve energy security through fuel diversification while meeting environmental challenges. This is why the DOE is committed to push for alternative transport utilizing “green vehicles” such as E-trikes. The introduction of energy-efficient electric vehicles in the market is envisioned to bring forth a sustainable transport system,” said Engr. Federico Domingo, Jr., supervising science research specialist of DOE.

The electric vehicle technology reduces or eliminates air pollution due to tail pipe emission, and it produces less noise and vibrations.

According to Engr. Simon Leonor, senior science specialist of DOE, the government is working into market transformation through introduction of energy-efficient electric vehicles or the e-trike project. He said that e-trike uses electric motors and motor controllers for propulsion and it is powered by on-board battery packs.

Leonor further cited the advantages of electric vehicle: It is cheaper to run since the cost of charging an EV is equivalent to paying around 30 percent of the cost per liter of gasoline; EVs can be charged anywhere with a power point/source, just like charging a mobile phone. “You can wake up with a ‘full tank’ every morning by plugging in at home, and never have to go out of your way to a gasoline station,” he added.

As emphasized by Leonor, EVs can convert up to 90 percent of energy from their batteries into driving. This compares to 20-30 percent for a petrol or diesel vehicles.

Meanwhile, Karolline De Vera, science research specialist I from the DOE mentioned that there is a need to shift into alternative fuels to avoid or lessen pollution. She said that alternative fuels are cheaper than oil.

“We aim to shift to the use of alternative fuels because more than 70% are using oil fuel which is more hazardous to the environment. That’s why it is really advantageous to utilize, patronize and promote the use of alternative fuels,” she emphasized.

Under the alternative fuels program, the country’s dependence on imported oil will be reduced by providing energy consumers with alternative and advance energy technologies and more environment-friendly fuel options aside from conventional fuels, such as gasoline and diesel.

The e-trike is under the Market Transformation program of the Department of Energy. This is part of the P1.7 billion loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank wherein 3,000 e-trikes are to be distributed in the different regions of the country.

As part of the contribution to sustainable transport, Engr. Charito Rosinas, former chief engineer of an international vessel, expressed interest and is one among those who are at the fence about investing on E-trike, and this will be the first EVs to roam along the thoroughfares in Butuan City.

Rosinas is more concerned of the benefits that EVs may contribute towards a healthy and stable environment. “I am in support to environmental protection and preservation and I believe EVs will help reduce the problem on pollution caused by hazardous gas and chemicals emitted by less efficient vehicles,” Rosinas stated.

Also, Rosinas planned to establish specific routes within the city and purposely serve the commuters with ease and convenience. He added that he has long been using electric power via solar energy source in the household, thus, the same will do well in charging EV batteries in a lesser cost.

The DOE remains open to all local government units as E-trike off-takers of their respective localities. Through this, the Philippines is envisioned to be at the forefront in terms of effectively implementing an environment-friendly, efficient, and sustainable transport system. By VLG/JPG/PIA-Caraga


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