The winning supplier of 3,000 electric tricycles for the Asian Development Bank and the Department of Energy’s e-trike project—Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines—urged the government to help set standards for the manufacture of electric vehicles and their key components such as the motor, the controller, the battery, as well as related infrastructure like charging stations.
The safety of electric vehicles was questioned a few months back when an e-jeepney burned while traversing Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City and when the e-jeepney fleet operating within Araneta Center allegedly burned due to an overheating charger.
The company said the defective EVs were not its products.
In a talk on sustainable energy at UP College of Engineering, Yvonne Palomar Castro, vice president for sales, marketing and after sales of, said “we anticipated all these concerns and our product standards exceed the ADB-DoE requirements. It will take time to educate the public about the viability of EVs as public transport and we cannot afford to have such mishaps from happening.”
Castro explained that “the vehicle control unit and battery management system of each of our EVs are designed to stop such malfunctions from happening. Bemac’s lithium ion battery was tested against extreme temperature, puncture and pressure tests and in tandem with our VCU we can basically control the amount of current coming in so that overcharging will not happen.”
A Bemac EV will stop charging even if it remains plugged in an electrical outlet after it reaches its programmed charging limit, she further said.
A battery management system should be a prerequisite before an EV should be allowed to run on roads, she added. “It doesn’t matter if your EV is using lead acid or lithium ion, a BMS is its first line of defense from accidental electrical malfunctions,” Castro said.
“The reason why the electrical and battery components of some electric vehicles on the road overheated is basically the lack of control mechanisms to stop these incidents from occurring,” she concluded.