Published July 16, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) has submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) this month its proposed ‘loan term amendments’ for the financing of the rollout of the initial 3,000 electric tricycle (e-trike) fleet.
According to DOE Director Patrick Aquino, the modifications include “the expansion of the deployment options to include private parties and other government agencies.”
Previously, the proposed rollout of e-trikes had been done only through local government units (LGUs) – but that was perceived “restrictive” by some affected parties.
That then prompted the energy department “to explore alternative measures” to remedy that hurdle, so the loan-covered 3,000 e-trikes could thrive as a pilot to the longer and more massive scale electric vehicle (EV) deployment plan of the government.
Additionally, the previous loan condition had been for the e-trike’s cost to be guaranteed by the international revenue allotment (IRA) of concerned LGUs, but that too is being tweaked in the loan terms.
Aquino said the proposed loan term modifications had been lodged with the ADB this July, and its approval is also anticipated “within this month.”
The e-trike program of the government had been cast on 100,000 units rollout, but following the decision of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to cancel the bulk of the ADB loan, the coverage had just been confined subsequently to 3,000 e-trike units.
Beyond the pilot phase, the energy department is strategizing on how it could position EVs as viable alternative to the country’s transport system.
The DOE has been noting that “the industry must ensure the operation of adequate recharging stations and after sales support if e-vehicles are to take the place of vehicles running on fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel.”
It noted that the nascent EV sector must similarly consider performance improvement of the deployed fleets, as well as mileage and durability of EVs, “so they could develop over time both in capacity and reputation that will match and stand toe-to-toe – or wheel-to-wheel with their petroleum-powered counterparts.”
Such goals, it was noted, had been incorporated in the Alternative Fuel Roadmap crafted by the department, so it can flesh out the short- to medium – and long-term plans and strategies on the development of the EV sector.