Caught (up) in traffic

Home » Electric Vehicles (Page 2)

Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Latest model electric jeepney

In case my readers missed my feature on the recent electric vehicle summit hosted by Meralco, here are a few photos of the latest model of the electric jeepney. Note the passenger door is no longer at the rear but at the side across from the driver. They have also added a distinctive snout to the vehicle. This model is the latest from PhUV, which also manufactures electric tricycles.

IMG_1570Profile of the electric jeepney currently in use for a Department of Energy-funded project being undertaken jointly by the National Engineering Center (NEC), the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS) and the Vehicle Research and Testing Laboratory (VRTL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; all of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

IMG_1571A peak at the interior shows the passenger seats in bench layout and a more generous headroom for passengers.

IMG_1572Driver’s seat and panel. There is space to install fare collection machines like the ones that can enable the use of BEEP cards by passengers.

IMG_1573E-jeepney front showing the distinctive face from its conventional ‘ancestors/predecessors’. A colleague noted that perhaps the manufacturer should add some accessories like horses or airplanes on the hood.

This model is already similar in size with the big COMET electric jitneys. They also run on a more powerful electric motor that will enable these vehicles, according to the maker, to climb slopes like those along the route of Antipolo jeepneys. We hope that this design gets mainstreamed (read: replace conventional jeepneys) along the many existing jeepney routes not just in Metro Manila but in other cities as well.

Electric vehicle deployment in the Philippines

Electric vehicles have been around in the Philippines for quite some time now. Most of these have been electric 2- and 3-wheelers with electric tricycles or e-trikes being the most visible. Of course, there are also electric 4-wheelers in the form of jitneys or e-jeeps. The electric vehicle wave has not caught on with private transport with the exception of those who bought electric scooters or motorcycles (but these are few and are not in significant numbers compared to those using conventional motorcycles).

The following map from the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), the organization of e-vehicle manufacturers, importers and advocates in the country. It shows where electric vehicles are operating, what kind of vehicles and the manufacturer for the model in use in those places.

evehiclemap-PH

This is not a comprehensive rendering of the presence of e-vehicles throughout the country as there are also e-trikes and e-jeepneys in many other cities and towns as well. Perhaps EVAP only illustrated where e-vehicles have made significant strides or presence. I believe that with the right conditions including policies, incentives and infrastructure, e-vehicles will continue their rise among transport in the Philippines. Energy mix aside, e-vehicles have a great potential to reduce air pollution and noise, reduce fossil fuel consumption, and also has a potential to reduce road crashes. Cheaper operating costs from e-vehicles can also help increase income (i.e., take home pay) of public transport drivers and operators. It would be nice to find champions for electric vehicles in the incoming government especially from the heads of agencies like the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Energy (DOE), among others that have a direct hand in transforming our fossil fuel dependent transport sector to an environment-friendly one.

Electric vehicle models at the 5th Electric Vehicle Summit – Part 2

I already featured a lot of the electric vehicle models that were on display at the 5th EV Summit and this second part adds to those in the Part 1. There are some new models in the following photos including a mini-bus model that features a lot of doors and a similarly-designed jitney model. I took photos of the interiors as well to give the reader an idea of the layout of these models and perhaps imagine how they could fit as potential public utility vehicles.

IMG_1333Electric minibus model

IMG_1334Interior of the minibus showing rows of seats

IMG_1335Driver and front seats

IMG_1336Rear seats facing the back instead of the front – the large window gives passengers a nice clear view of following vehicles, among others.

IMG_1337The minibus had many doors (8 total) to allow passengers to board and alight from each row.

IMG_1338Front of the mini-bus featuring a single large wiper

IMG_1339Jeepney-sized version of the minibus also featured multiple side doors (6 of them for this vehicle).

IMG_1340Seats inside the jitney

IMG_1341Dashboard and steering wheel of the electric jitney

IMG_1342Another look at the latest model of the electric jeepney

IMG_1343The door is at the curbside

IMG_1344Driver’s seat

IMG_1345Bench seat layout for the e-jeepney

IMG_1346Front view of the e-jeepney featuring a pronounced and familiar snout

IMG_1347Setting up for display and demo

IMG_1348Star8’s e-trike model featuring a side door instead of one at the rear

IMG_1349Bench seat layout for Star8’s e-trike

IMG_1350Dashboard and driver seat for the Star8 e-trike

IMG_1351Star8’s tuktuk design for the e-trike

The variety of electric vehicle models and the increase in the number of industry players is encouraging. Interest in electric vehicles have steadily increased over the past half decade. Perhaps the government should have a stronger role as catalyst or enabler for this industry to flourish and perhaps transform not only the public transport scene but also for people to adopt e-vehicles for private use. This can only be done if the proper incentives are in place that include policy, fiscal and financial instruments favoring electric vehicles as well as their hybrid relatives. These will go a long way towards a low carbon transport future for the country.

Electric vehicle models at the 5th Electric Vehicle Summit – Part 1

The 5th Electric Vehicle Summit was held last April 14-15, 2016 at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall. Following are photos I took at the summit where many current electric vehicle models were on display and demonstration. Many of the photos show variants of the electric tricycle designs from various manufacturers that conform with the design promoted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). These are basically in the form of the Thai tuktuk and similar to Cagayan De Oro’s motorella.

IMG_1310Go Electric e-trike by ToJo Motors

IMG_1311E-trike model by Clean Air Transport Solutions, Inc.

IMG_1314BEMAC e-trike model – the company recently landed a big contract to produce e-trikes.

IMG_1315E-trike by Kyto Green Technologies Co., Ltd.

IMG_1316Electric car (4-wheeler) by PhUV powered by Trojan batteries

IMG_1317E-trike model by Green Mobility Service

IMG_1318PhUV’s e-trike variants

IMG_1319E-trike and charging station by KEA

IMG_1320Exhibitors setting up their booths and electric vehicles

IMG_1321Conventional vehicle converted into electric by Le Guider International

IMG_1322E-trikes by Guider Power

IMG_1323Another look at PhUV’s e-trikes 

IMG_1324Electric motorcycles by Alternative Energy Trailblazer, Inc.

IMG_1325E-trike by Roteco

IMG_1326SunE-trike and Roteco booths at the summit exhibition area

IMG_1328Sporty electric motorcycle model by Talino EV – this can be paired with a sidecar to serve as an e-trike.

IMG_1329The ToJo Motors booth

IMG_1330Electric vehicles powered by solar energy by Star8

IMG_1331E-vehicle models by Clean Air Transport Solutions, Inc.

IMG_1332Latest model e-jeepney by PhUV featuring side door and a higher ceiling

To be continued…

On e-trikes again

I saw this electric tricycle while traveling along Marcos Highway in Antipolo City. There are already a number of e-trikes operating in many cities around the country including several in Metro Manila but this one seems to be the inferior to the designs I have features in previous articles in this site (Note: Refer to the post on Vehicles at the 3rd Electric Vehicle Summit for a sampling of e-trike designs). Those designs were mostly inspired by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s concept electric tricycle design for their project that sought to replace conventional tricycles with electric ones.

IMG_0824Antipolo e-trike along Marcos Highway

This e-trike appears to be a clumsy design and I have questions regarding its stability and operating characteristics, which have implications on road safety. Note that the e-trike in the photo above is not registered. Otherwise, it should bear an orange plate from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), which incidentally classifies e-vehicles as low-speed vehicles. This classification basically restricts most e-vehicles from traveling along national roads such as Marcos Highway. Did Antipolo secure an exception or exemption for these vehicles? Are traffic law enforcement personnel turning blind eye to the operation of these vehicles along busy highways like Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway? How safe are these vehicle designs?

Local papers presented at the EASTS 2015 conference – Mapua Institute of Technology

Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) has a relatively young program under its School of Civil Engineering. This is led by their Dean, Dr Francis Aldrine Uy, who is also active with the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE). Mapua has been aggressive the recent years in presenting and publishing papers in transportation engineering and planning. Following are the papers from the MIT:

  1. Integrated Non-Motorized Transportation System For A Sustainability Oriented Intramuros [Francis Aldrine Uy]
  2. A Study on the Effectiveness of Eco-Mobility Component: E-Jeepneys in Makati City [Francis Aldrine Uy]
  3. Comparative Study of the Effects of Fuel Sources (Diesel, Gasoline and Autogas) in Public Transportation in Metro Manila on Price, Emission and Health Issues [Francis Aldrine Uy]
  4. Determinants of Demands of Pasig River Ferry Service [Francis Aldrine Uy]
  5. Determination of Cost Impact using Mathematical Model Comprising City Logistics to Quick Service Restaurants in Metro Manila [Francis Aldrine Uy]
  6. Development of Evacuation Plan by Utilizing Transportation Modeling in the City of Borongan, Eastern Samar [Riches Bacero]
  7. Operational Performance Analysis of Median U-Turn Intersections as Traffic Control Facility in EDSA [Riches Bacero]
  8. Community Perception on Trans-operability of Intramuros [Riches Bacero]
  9. Paradigm Shift Strategy of Inclusive Mobility: The Applicability of Bus Rapid Transit along Commonwealth Avenue [Riches Bacero]
  10. Evaluation of Strontium Aluminate in Traffic Paint Pavement Marking for Rural and Unilluminated Roads [Riches Bacero]
  11. Study on the Impact of the Construction Activity of Skyway Stage 3 on Traffic Conditions along Osmeña Highway and San Andres Street [Geoffrey Cueto]
  12. A Design for Silver Star Integrated Green Bus Terminal [Geoffrey Cueto]
  13. Proposed Diversion Road to Improve Traffic Movement of Commercially Developed Areas in Bacoor, Cavite [Geoffrey Cueto]
  14. Establishing the City Logistic Concept in Improving the Freight Distribution in Metro Manila [Geoffrey Cueto]
  15. An Analysis on the Accessibility Level of Public Transit for Persons with Disability: In care of Light Rail Transit (LRT 1) [Geoffrey Cueto]
  16. Design and Development of the Puerto Princesa Airport Passenger Terminal [Jocelyn Buluran]
  17. Design and Development of Passenger Terminal at Batangas Port [Jocelyn Buluran]
  18. Design and Development of Passenger Terminal Extension of Clark International Airport [Jocelyn Buluran]
  19. Determinants of “Travel with Dignity” of Passengers of MRT3 [Jocelyn Buluran]
  20. Integrating Sustainable Non – Motorized Public Transport in the City of Manila, Philippines Through Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) [Jocelyn Buluran]

My only comment about certain papers in the list is that many do not seem to be research papers and definitely more on the practice (i.e., design) side than the academic. I can say this based on the presentations made that I was able to attend as well as the papers themselves in the proceedings of the conference that I was able to browse. Still, Mapua has very good potential to come up with good papers from the prolific Dr Uy and his young faculty members led by Engr. Riches Bacero.

The current President of Mapua, Dr Reynaldo Vea, is also the current President of the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines (TSSP). Dr Vea was formerly Dean of UP Diliman’s College of Engineering and Officer-in-charge of UP’s National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS). His specialty is on maritime transport as he has a degree in naval architecture.

 

 

EASTS 2015 – Cebu City, September 11-13, 2015

The 11th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS 2015) will be held in Cebu City this September 11-13, 2015. For information on the conference and program, check out their website here:

http://www.easts2015.com/

You can also download a brochure about EASTS here:

EASTS brochure2014-2015a

The conference is hosted by the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines (TSSP), which is the local affiliate of the EASTS. More information on the TSSP are found below:

TSSP brochure_inside TSSP brochure_cover-back

Future of jeepneys?

I spotted a jeepney on my way home with a message (or tagline, depending on how you see it) printed on its side. It says BEEP, which was supposed to stand for Bagong Jeep (translated as New Jeep). From the looks of the vehicle, there was nothing new about it, except maybe this sign that was painted over an older design on the vehicle’s body. Apparently, the tagline does not refer to the vehicle itself but to the image of the jeepney. “Bago” or “New” here refers to a new image for jeepneys. Long regarded as the “King of the Road,” the jeepneys have become synonymous to reckless driving, uncomfortable rides and unreliable services. They have also come to represent unsustainable transport what with most jeepneys being fuel guzzlers and smoke belchers.

2015-06-27 08.57.23I already spotted several jeepneys plying the Cogeo-Cubao route sporting this sign that’s apparently a campaign to uplift the image of jeepneys. It seems really a stretch to call these ‘bago’ as the vehicles I’ve seen are the same customized bodies with second hand engines running them.

There is a campaign to rehabilitate the image of the jeepneys and perhaps it should start with driver behavior and not necessarily the vehicle. Many jeepney drivers (as well as drivers of other public utility vehicles) have attitudes leaning on the rude side. You see many of them driving recklessly along our roads and stopping just about anywhere (e.g., in the middle of the road). Such behaviour is due to many factors including the way these people learned to drive and their motivations for their means of earning a living. Much can also be said about their education both formal and regarding their driving.

There are also many vehicles vying to be the replacement for the jeepneys and among these are electric vehicles including the electric jitneys that I have featured in past articles on this blog. Incidentally, one of those electric jitneys is actually a more recent model of the electric jeepneys that’re currently in operation in Makati and Alabang, and it happens to be called the Beep. Operating in Filinvest City, the e-jeepneys there have been lauded as a viable option for replacing the conventional jeepneys. So far, so good and time will tell if indeed, conventional jeepneys will be phased out in favor of e-jeepneys. The jury is still out there in terms of the e-jeepney’s reliability and durability.

2015-07-03 05.59.42An electric tricycle currently undergoing experimental operations at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus is more a replacement for tricycles and multicabs than for jeepneys.

Resistance is futile? The case against electric jeepneys

There is a strong sentiment against electric jeepneys along the route where the COMET is currently operating. This opposition has always been there even before the COMET came about. I would like to think that this is partly due to the perception among many operators and drivers that conventional jeepneys would be phased out and replaced by e-jeepneys. But then isn’t this replacement supposed to be an upgrade in terms of having a more energy efficient and therefore economical vehicle that had a significant bonus of being low emission as well.

I finally got a photo of the sign Katipunan jeepney operators and drivers put up at the terminal below the Aurora Blvd. flyover.

IMG10352-20150322-1704Protest against electric jeepneys written on Manila paper and posted on overpass column at the Katipunan jeepney terminal

Given the recent innovations and the rapid advances in electric and other fuel vehicles, it should come as no surprise that more reliable and more efficient models of these vehicles will be available in the market. In the case of the Philippines where the thrust for e-vehicles is focused on public transport, there will eventually be a model that will comprehensively beat conventional jeepneys in every aspect. That is, if there is not yet a model that good. Arguably, the COMET and the latest e-jeepney model (BEEP) are already better than conventional jeepneys. However, their acceptability is pending with operators and drivers who seem uninterested with the case against conventional jeepneys. Perhaps these people are being fed false information by another party? Hopefully, they will open their eyes and mind to the reality that will eventually catch up with them if they do not embrace change.

Future jeepney: COMET

Another vehicle being considered for the study on the comparison of customised vehicles being used for public transport is the COMET (City Optimised Managed Electric Transport). This is a 20-seater vehicle that we have written about in previous posts and was touted by its makers and supporters as the best and most suitable replacement for the conventional jeepney. Unlike the BEEP that was featured in the previous post, it is currently operating along a route with trip ends at North Avenue and Aurora Boulevard via Mindanao Avenue, Congressional Avenue, Luzon Avenue and Katipunan Avenue. This route overlaps in operation with established jeepney routes in those areas and thus competes directly with these jeepneys.

spec sheet COMET

Notice that both the COMET and the BEEP have seating capacities of 20 passengers (except the driver). However, the COMET is the larger vehicle as it is both wider, longer and higher than the BEEP. In fact, a passenger can stand inside the COMET without having to bow his/her head so as not to bump against the ceiling. Perhaps the more significant difference with current operations is that COMET drivers have been trained to drive more responsibly (i.e., less aggressively) than the typical jeepney driver. So far they do not weave in traffic and stop only at designated points along their route. Future jeepneys should have drivers like these but they should also be compensated according to the requirements of their jobs as drivers. Such compensation schemes are among the biggest factors for the way jeepney drivers behave in traffic. Technology-wise, current and subsequent developments in motors, batteries and other components of the vehicle itself should make electric and other environment-friendly vehicles more attractive as replacements (successors?) to jeepneys.