Posted on June 09, 2017
AFTER much delay, the Department of Energy (DoE) has revived the electric tricycle project, scaled down to 3,000 units from the original 100,000 for a lower cost of P1.73 billion from P21.672 billion originally.
DoE Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III said on Thursday the department is going ahead with the project to showcase the potential use of clean and diversified energy technologies through the project, known as e-trikes.
“Sustainability dictates that the appropriate ecosystem be in place to support the e-trike beyond deployment or at the point of sale. The terms of the contract of the winning bidder under the project include after-sales support and warranty. This sends a clear and strong signal to the public to make the switch to e-trikes,” he said.
Mr. Pulido said the project is now close to the end of its five-year loan term period after facing “many challenges” including delays during past administrations, in part as previous DoE officials haggled to lower the cost of each vehicle.
Last year, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi canceled in part the loan contract as the department “wanted to revisit all the options available in view of significant flaws in the project’s design, including the choice of just one model and pricing concerns,” DoE said.
Citing data from the Board of Investments and industry group Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), the DoE said the approval of the project by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in June 2013 translated into investments in e-trike manufacturing and support of P500 million. It also generated 14,840 jobs as of end-2016, it added.
The DoE said NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee noted this month the department proposal in March calling for a revised project implementation, including the additional deployment options and arrangements.
It is securing amendments to the loan terms with the Asian Development Bank, including changes to the project administration manual and related documents because of “substantial changes” in the project.
Mr. Cusi is going ahead with the purchase of the 3,000 units instead of 100,000 units because this had already been contracted by the previous administration, DoE said.
Mr. Pulido said the department decided on 3,000 units as a sufficient quantity to demonstrate the viability of the technology.
He said the project is an investment not only in technology and the environment but “a socioeconomic investment that would jumpstart a nascent industry, generate jobs and ensure sustainable energy consumption in the country.”
DoE said the scaled-down project cost of P1.73 billion from P21 billion was to ensure e-trikes would benefit the public at minimal cost to taxpayers. -- Victor V. Saulon