The Energy Department has decided to stop the rollout of the electric tricycle project amid the lack of interested buyers and high manufacturing costs.
“The DOE already decided that we will discontinue the e-trike project,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said, referring to the $500-million Asian Development Bank-funded project which aims to replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycle units with energy efficient electric vehicles.
Cusi said the department was also studying how to manage the rollout of the 3,000 e-trikes approved by the previous administration and awarded to a Japanese company.
The department previously issued the notice of award to Uzushio Electric Co. Ltd. of Japan and local partner Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines Inc. for the supply of 3,000 units of electric tricycles.
“Based on the contract, DOE can also cancel the delivery of the e-trike bid out. However, the contractor has 28 days within which to deliver whatever they produce and DOE will be obliged to pay whatever is delivered,” Cusi said.
Cusi, however, said around 1,600 units were already manufactured and the department now wanted to stop production of the remaining units.
“We sent a letter to stop the production of the additional units. The meeting with Neda [National Economic Development Authority] as of the moment is ongoing and I am also waiting for an update,” the energy chief said.
Cusi earlier said the e-trike project proved to be too costly.
“The problem is affordability of the operators. If there will be takers, we will continue to promote that…How do we make it affordable?” Cusi said.
The winning bidder, Uzushio and Bemac was the only one, among five interested bidders who complied with the requirements of the department for the supply and delivery of 3,000 e-trikes.
The Energy Department bid out an initial supply and delivery of 3,000 e-trikes in 2014 as a part of the government’s market transformation through the introduction of energy efficient electric vehicles project.
The first bidding failed, prompting the government to re-bid it but only one bidder emerged which resulted in the negotiated bidding.
The project, largely financed by the ADB and the Clean Technology Fund, was supposed to be implemented for five years.
The project aims to deploy 100,000 e-trikes nationwide to replace the same number of traditional gasoline-fed tricycles, reduce the transport sector’s annual petroleum consumption by 2.8 percent (equivalent to 89.2 million liters) per year and achieve 79-percent carbon dioxide foot print avoidance.
The government, however, did not categorically say it would cancel the ADB loan or channel it to other e-vehicle projects.