Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of Uzushio Electric Co. of Japan, won a $30-million contract to supply 3,000 electric tricycles to the government in 2016.
Bemac said the e-trike production and supply contract was under the joint project of the Energy Department and the Asian Development Bank.
The Philippines is home to over 3.5 million gasoline-fueled tricycles, which are commonly used as public transportation over short distances.
The government announced in 2012 a project to replace 100,000 units of traditional tricycles with e-trikes in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of these vehicles.
Bemac bested four other companies to win the a bidding for the supply of 3,000 e-trikes in May 2015.
The company said that after rounds of price negotiations, the final price was settled at around $30 million for the production, delivery and servicing of 3,000 electric tricycles.
Uzushio Electric Co., a manufacturing company based in Imabari City, is Japan’s top large ship outfitter, chiefly manufacturing electric and communications equipment since 1946.
Uzushio launched an electric vehicle development program in 2011 and developed a prototype in 2012.
Its local subsidiary Bemac prepared systems for the manufacture, sale and distribution of 6,000 vehicles yearly with cooperation from local partner companies led by Almazora Motor Corp. as its local assembly partner.
Uzushio Electric Co. president Masato Oda said in a previous visit to the Philippines the company was very serious in its e-vehicle business and was looking at possibilities of introducing more variants including four-wheeled e-vehicles.
Yvonne Palomar Castro, Bemac vice president for operations, sales and marketing, said in a statement the company was excited about being a catalyst for change in helping resolve transportation problems and their associated impact to the environment.
“As an EV advocate first, I am glad that we got this award because we are committed to provide an EV technology and after sales support system that will be the new benchmark in the local EV industry,” Castro said.
Bemac is looking to expand to other Asean markets, after seeing its first success in the Philippines.
Energy undersecretary Donato Marcos earlier said the rollout of 3,000 e-trike units would be done this year.
He said the award was granted to Uzusio and Bemac following a series of negotiations with the department in coordination with the ADB.
Marcos said the winning bidders’ offer was accepted due to the “superlative features” of its offer which included a five-year warranty on battery, maintenance and three-year free insurance and free registration.
“If it is proven that government can service as a catalyst, then we can consider other e-vehicles, such as e-jeepney, e-bus, in close breed with solar,” he said.
Marcos said the government succeeded in lowering the manufacturing price to a range of P450,000 to P460,000 per unit from the original P600,000.
“We want to bring down the cost further and with the presence of an independent EV expert recommended by ADB ,” Marcos said earlier.