Through a joint project of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 3,000 units of electric motor powered tricycles or e-Trikes are set to be produced and deployed within the year by Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines, Incorporated a subsidiary of Uzushio Electric Co. of Japan.
The Philippines is home to over 3.5 million gasoline-fueled tricycles, a vehicle most commonly used as public transportation over short distances. In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of these tricycles, the government announced in 2012 a project to replace 100,000 units with electric tricycles. As an initial execution of this plan, the DOE and ADB announced a bidding for 3,000 units in February last year. The bid was carried out in May, with BEMAC coming out on top over four other companies. After rounds of price negotiations, the final price was settled at around USD 30 million for the production, delivery, and servicing of 3,000 electric tricycles.
Uzushio Electric Co. a manufacturing company based in Imabari City, Japan is Japan’s number one large ship outfitter, chiefly manufacturing electric and communications equipment since 1946. In 2011, Uzushio launched an Electric Vehicle development program. The DOE announced the e-Trike project in 2012, and in December of the same year, Uzushio had developed a prototype built around the needs of the DOE and the Philippines. Now under the established local subsidiary BEMAC, the company has prepared systems for the manufacture, sale, and distribution of 6,000 vehicles yearly with cooperation from local partner companies notably with Almazora Motor Corporation as its local assembly partner.
In a recent visit to the country, Uzushio Electric Co. President Masato Oda said that the company is very serious in its EV business in the country and is looking at possibilities of introducing more variants including 4 wheeled EVs.
Yvonne Palomar Castro, BEMAC’s VP for Operations, Sales and Marketing, said in an interview that they are excited about being a catalyst for change in helping resolve transportation problems and their associated impact to the environment.
“As an EV advocate first, I am glad that we got this award because we are committed to provide an EV technology and after sales support system that will be the new benchmark in the local EV industry,” Ms. Castro added.
After the introduction of the 3,000 units, the DOE is planning future projects and bids to further replace 17,000 additional vehicles with e-Trikes. At the same time, BEMAC is looking to expand to other ASEAN markets, expecting demand for its electric vehicle after seeing its first success in the Philippines.