DOE eyes program to convert diesel jeepneys to e-jeeps
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to launch a program that will convert diesel-fed jeepneys into electric jeepneys (e-jeepney) once it irons out the hurdles in the delayed rollout of the 3,000 electric tricycles (e-trike) under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) grant, according to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The e-jeepney program is one of the issues the DOE is keen on promoting with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), DOE assistant secretary Leonido Pulido said in an interview after the hearing.
“The DOE has been supportive of the jeepney modernization program of DOTr. We understand the vehicle itself is under the jurisdiction of DOTr but the infrastructure, charging stations, facilities, policies, incentives, that’s the job of DOE,” he said.
Leonido said the DOE is studying whether the e-jeepney program could be done through loans, the agency’s budget or through public-private partnership (PPP).
But before moving on to e-jeepneys, the agency must first deploy the 3,000 unutilized e-trikes.
During the hearing, DOE Undersecretary Raul Aguilos said they have already submitted to the ADB and the Department of Finance (DOF) the amendments to the loan agreement.
ADB and DOF were the signatories in the 2013 loan agreement amounting to $504 million, or roughly P21.67-billion.
Pulido said the DOE, DOF and ADB could sign the amended loan agreement within a week or two.
“We’ve been doing backchannel talks with DOF and ADB, we’ve finally agreed on what revisions would be made to the loan agreement which should hopefully allow the DOE to actually deploy the e-trikes,” he said.
Apart from reducing the loan amount, the amendments will also allow the DOE to roll out e-trikes to other beneficiaries. The previous agreement was limited to local government.