BUILDERS and makers of electric-powered vehicles in the country are pushing for the use of “green-transport” program aimed at providing environment-friendly vehicles to boost the ongoing green-tourism program of the travel sector.
Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines Executive Director Bong Cruz, in a statement said that their group is now encouraging tourism industry players 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.”
In anticipation of the first-ever Asean Electric Vehicle Summit slated to be held in Manila this year, EVAP recently sent a representative to Vietnam to study EV applications in a country with driving terrains and conditions similar to those in the Philippines.
Cruz noted the proliferation of electric vehicle shuttles within the tourist areas in Hanoi such as around the Old quarter, the French quarter and the famous Hoan Kiem Lake, he adds.
The electric vehicles are actually the big six-seater golf cart varieties which are smaller yet very similar to the 14-seater electric jeepneys now plying in Makati, Filinvest City Alabang, Muntinlupa and Ateneo.
He says that in the Philippines, EJeepneys 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 adds that it makes sense as it is more enjoyable for the tourists since it is open on the side so visibility is greater and a tourist can absorb more of the scenery, is quiet so one can hear the tour guide more clearly and is smoke-free so it is more convenient for tourists as they do not have to inhale the pesky engine smoke.
The EVAP report suggests that maybe the Philippines should have more EJeepneys for tourism application.
The report however cites one thing that the Philippines have that Vietnam does not have and these are the electric tricycles. Juan reveals that ETrikes are more practical especially for those travelling in groups of five or less, which incidentally is the average size of a Filipino family.
Thus here in the Philippines, ETrikes 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 EJeepneys should also be introduced in these sites to cater to the bigger groups.