Jeepneys transform into modern PUVs
Three industry groups have showcased prototypes of modern public utility vehicles as the government pushes for the Jeepney Modernization Program with a plan to launch 200,000 new PUVs over the next three years.
The Automotive Body Makers Association of the Philippines and the Truck Manufacturers Association together with the Philippine Parts Maker Association showcased their prototypes of the modern PUV at the PhilApex 2017 exhibit in cooperation with Department of Trade and Industry on Oct. 12 to 13, 2017. This gave the public and the transport industry a first glimpse of how the modern jeepneys will look like.
Both operators and drivers viewed the new breed of jeepney prototypes made by local body builders using mainstream platforms such as Isuzu, Hino, Fuso, Tata, Hyundai, Foton and Jinbei.
The modern PUV is different. Designed in conformance to the new standards set by the Bureau of Philippine Standards, it has side doors instead of rear doors, no hood and a higher ceiling that allows for standing passengers.
This translates into more passengers. Emergency exits are mandated and some units will even have provisions for PWD passengers. It has also been designed to be air-conditioned.
The modern PUV has a brand new Euro 4 compliant diesel engine, brand new parts and components from bumper to bumper and an automated fare collection system.
Meanwhile, the year 2018 looks very bright for the domestic EV industry, according to the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines.
EVAP president Rommel Juan said the Asean EV Summit attracted various international players and organizations in the region, resulting in the organization of the Asean Federation of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Associations.
“The year 2018 opened and greeted us with two sets of good news. First was the PUV Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation which mandates that the modern PUV must have either a Euro 4 compliant diesel engine or an electric motor. Good news No. 2 was that electric vehicles were exempted from excise tax while the excise tax for hybrid vehicles was cut by half”.
Juan said with these twin positive developments, he foresees that many formal carmakers will be pushing their electric cars and EV platforms in the Philippine market very soon.
“One such carmaker is Mitsubishi Motors with its I-Mievs and Outlander PHEV. We also caught a glimpse of the Nissan Leaf at the Asean EV Summit and we look forward to Nissan’s introduction of the Leaf to the Philippine market soon. And of course, the new excise tax law might be the needed push for Toyota to sell more Prius Hybrids”.
“In the infrastructure front, specifically with respect to battery charging stations, EVAP is happy to note that QEV of the Aboitiz Group, one of the charging infrastructure companies which entered Philippine shores, recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Pilipinas Shell and the SM Group to put up charging stations nationwide. This will surely encourage the use of EVs as the issue of range anxiety will be addressed”.
Juan said the electric tricycle project is also seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with EV pioneer and now Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Bodie Pulido at the helm in the deployment of DOE ETrikes nationwide.
“Finally, the PUV Modernization is now in full swing. Old, dilapidated jeepneys are being taken off the roads by the DOTr, Metro Manila Development Authority and the Land Transportation Office. This, coupled with President Duterte’s order to rid our streets of jeepneys that are not roadworthy, will finally open the minds of jeepney drivers and operators to the idea of PUV modernization” he said.
“We are now in close coordination with the DOTr and once their Route Rationalization Plan is released, we will finally be able to determine where e-Jeepneys can be deployed. All in all, we expect many developments in the electric vehicle industry in 2018. We ask our fellow Filipinos to join us in an eco-friendly ride to the future of Philippine transport on board our electric vehicles,” said Juan.