The Philippines’ Electric Transport Revolution

New modes of electric transport are being implemented in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. These new vehicles will cut down the length of citizens’ commutes, save the city from losing money and — most importantly — drastically reduce the air pollution that currently encompasses the city.

On workdays in a city like Manila, the population rises from 12 million to 15 million people. The majority of these people drive their own vehicles into the city, creating immense amounts of traffic. And what should be a 30-minute commute can take up to three hours.

Currently, the most popular mode of public transportation in this major city is the Jeepney, a large diesel-powered vehicle that contributes significantly to air and noise pollution. A new innovation, called the eJeepney, will instead run on electricity, reducing annual carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The eJeepney can travel up to 100 kilometers a day, going up to 60 kilometers per hour, and will only require a four-hour electric charge. The Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) has calculated that with the current diesel Jeepneys, greenhouse gas emissions would increase to 5.72 million tons a year by 2030, compared with 4.7 million tons in 2012. eJeepneys will prevent this problem from getting worse.

Sigfrido Tinga, president of Global Electric Transportation, says, “Eighty-five percent of this Metro Manila pollution is vehicular… Just taking out the major part that’s causing that pollution, which is the jeep, is going to be amazing.”

The eJeepney is just the beginning of a revolution in the Philippines. Other modes of transportation are being evaluated to discover ways to reduce pollution in all areas, including reopening the use of a ferry system.

Executive Director of Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Renato Constantino said, “We don’t see it, we inhale it. We definitely feel the effects of it in terms of local air pollution, pollution on the streets, and we also contribute in a big way to global climate change. Carbon dioxide is one of the leading causes of warming temperatures worldwide.”

By introducing these new vehicles, the electric transport revolution in the Philippines could change the way countries around the world provide public transportation.

– Hannah Cleveland

Sources: Channel News Asia, The Guardian
Photo: The Guardian