The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines urged the government to consider the use of electric vehicles in tourist areas to showcase the country’s e-vehicle industry.
EVAP said in a statement the government should learn from Vietnam in terms of e-vehicle applications in a country with driving terrains and conditions similar to those in the Philippines.
EVAP representatives observed many similarities and contrasts with the Philippines in terms of e-vehicles after a recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam.
EVAP executive director Bong Cruz, however, said Hanoi was ahead of the Philippines in tourism development.
Cruz noted that Hanoi had more mini tourist buses that can bring travelers around the famous tourism sites.
“The traffic is manageable within the city and is delightfully free in the outskirts going to other areas such as the world heritage site, Halong Bay,” he said.
Cruz said the proliferation of electric vehicle shuttles within tourist areas, such as around the Old Quarter, the French quarter and the famous Hoan Kiem Lake, was noticeable.
Hanoi’s electric vehicles are actually the big 6-seater golf cart varieties, which are smaller but very similar to the 14-seater electric jeepneys now plying in Makati, Filinvest City Alabang, Muntinlupa and Ateneo.
E-jeepneys in the Philippines are used for public transport.
“This is understandable since the jeepneys are the backbone of the Philippine mass transport system. But in Vietnam, the EVs are used more in the tourism industry to promote green and convenient tourist transport that is quiet and smoke free,” Cruz said.
Cruz said e-jeepneys were more enjoyable for the tourists because of their open windows where travelers can see more of the scenery.
Their engines are also quiet so one can hear the tour guide more clearly and is smoke-free.
EVAP added Vietnam does not have electric tricycles.
EVAP president Rommel Juan said e-trikes were more practical, especially for those traveling in groups of five or less.
E-trikes have started penetrating famous tourist areas, such as Coron, Boracay, Puerto Princesa and Intramuros.
“The EVAP report sees this as a good sign, but recommends that perhaps e-jeepneys should also be introduced in these sites to cater to the bigger groups,” the group said.
Cruz said EVAP was encouraging companies to help develop green tourism in the Philippines.
“I believe this is one lesson we can learn from the Vietnamese: provide tourists with shuttle vehicles that are quiet, comfortable and smoke-free. This will be good for everyone in the tourism industry,” he said.