Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Philippines Wants 100,000 Electric Tuk Tuks on the Road by 2016

The largest power company in the Philippines wants to put 100,000 electric tuk-tuk utility vehicles on the road by 2016 – which sounds like a big number, until you realize there are nearly 3.5 million tuk tuks on Philippine roads today and that 100,000 number represents less than 3% of the overall total. So, maybe doable?
In a bid to help reduce the country’s financial burden to transition away from the highly-polluting 2-strok engines in most tuk tuks, the Asian Development Bank has earmarked more than 220 million Euros to the project. The money will be spent installing quick-charging stations for the electric trikes in major cities, with the hope being that more tuk tuk buyers will opt for an electric vehicle, like the one shown here (seemingly endorsed by Manilla Electric), if they already know they’ll be able to charge it up reliably.

While the electric tuk tuk (in this form) may not be an ideal replacement for the motorized rickshaw taxi tuk tuks, an electric motor would make hauling heavy loads and making intermittent daily deliveries easier, cheaper, and cleaner for thousands of Philippino businesses. Here’s hoping that 220 million Euro check clears!