Iloilo City—The Energy Department said Thursday it cancelled the government’s $300-million loan from the Asian Development Bank and another $100 million from the Clean Technology Fund for the rollout of 100,000 electric tricycles.
The loans were supposed to finance the $500-million introduction of energy-efficient electric vehicles that aimed to replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycle units. The government was supposed to shoulder the remaining $100 million under the project.
The government has so far awarded the manufacturing of 3,000 e-trikes to a Japanese company.
“I canceled the loan, that is something like 100,00 e trikes. The 3,000 has been awarded, being produced, so the remaining 97,000 [units] will be set aside,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told reporters.
Cusi said only the loan for the rollout of the 3,000 units would push through.
“We have informed them [of the cancellation] in writing. We have not received a response,” Cusi said, referring to ADB.
Cusi earlier said the Energy Department 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,” Cusi said.
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.
Cusi said the e-trike project approved during the previous administration 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. 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.