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  • Writer's pictureSolaready PH

E-jeepney: the greener way to get around

A salute to the Philippine icon "The King of the Road," the electric jeepney (E-Jeepney) was introduced in the country by the visionary Mr. Robert Puckett in 2007.

Running solely on electric power, the E-Jeepney uses no form of fossil fuel and therefore emits no harmful fumes. It is has an environment-friendly design and ultra-quiet engine that can last 120 kilometers on an 8 hour charge. With the optional solar panel installed, it can run for 150 kilometers at a maximum speed of 35-60 km per hour. It is able to carry up to 17 passengers.

The first public transportation system of its kind in Southeast Asia, this creative, innovative effort by Mr. Puckett was supported by international non-governmental environment organization Greenpeace and local government units as Makati City through the office of then Mayor Jejomar Binay. During its launch, E-Jeepneys plied routes around Makati City.

Other cities all over the country such as Bacolod, Baguio, and Puerto Princesa also launched the similar campaign of welcoming E-Jeepney to power an environment-friendly public transport system. It has also been used by schools, resorts, theme parks, industrial zones, and other entities.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigns Director Von Hernandez, and Solarco President Robert Puckett (right to left) test drive an Electric Jeepney (E-Jeepney), the first public transport system of its kind in Southeast Asia, along Ayala Avenue in the Philippines' financial capital of Makati City on 4 July 2007.

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Electric-powered vehicles in the metro can prove to be most advantageous. When it isn't moving, it is not using energy. And when it is moving, it does not pollute air with toxins-laced emissions as diesel-powered jeepneys. Plus, the daily electric charge of an E-jeepney would cost around P150, way below than the daily gasoline expense of about P1,000 of passenger jeepneys. The drivers and commuters alike will be spared of fare hike due to high oil price, which is sensitive to sociopolitical environment especially in the oil-producing countries.

More than a decade after the E-jeepney was introduced, it still needs warmer reception from the public. The support for green transportation is most important as the environment faces degradation through the depletion of resources and destruction of ecosystems.

The green revolution shouldn't stop at home or business properties. The transportation industry could also tap renewable energy solutions and deserves greater attention. A visionary project the like E-jeepney is a sustainable measure that would help move the country toward a greener tomorrow.

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