In preparation for the launch of electric-tricycles (e-trikes) in the city next month, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the establishment of charging stations of the vehicle across the capital.
The local government of Manila and the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) have installed charging stations in the tourist belt area, which includes Luneta, Ermita, Malate, Intramuros, Chinatown in Binondo, and Quiapo.
“The e-trike drivers can charge their batteries for free,” Estrada said.
The formal launch of the e-trike project next month will include an initial fleet of 384 battery-operated vehicles that will be distributed to tricycle drivers through an affordable five-year “boundary-installment” scheme.
The 384 e-trikes cost about P145 million in total, or about P380, 000 each. The bike is powered by gel-type batteries that can be fully charged in four to five hours alone. It can carry up to seven passengers and has a maximum speed of 40-45 kilometers per hour.
Estrada said that the project is intended to provide a more practical livelihood program for 5,000 Manila tricycle drivers, whose daily earnings are largely depleted by the continuous rise of fuel. This also supplements the government’s initiatives to decreasing oil dependence and air pollution.
“E-trikes are easier and cheaper to maintain compared to tricycles that run on fuel. With less expense on vehicle maintenance and practically zero expense on fuel, our trike drivers can expect bigger income,” the Manila mayor said.
Estrada added that the e-trike project was a part of his administration’s effort in fighting pollution and protecting the health of more than one million Manileños.