Electric Jeepneys for Greener Philippines

Electric Jeepney

THE ubiquitous “jeepney,” a brightly painted commuter minibus that has been roaming the Philippines since World War II, has just become greener.

The electric-powered version of the vehicle appeared on Manila’s smog-choked streets yesterday in an effort to lessen urban pollution and climate change.

Two locally designed electric jeepneys were launched in the countries financial capital Makati by Greenpeace and Green Renewable Independent Power Producer Inc, or GRIPP.

While regular jeepneys guzzle 300 pesos (US$6.50) or more of diesel each day, the new jeepney can run 140 kilometers on an eight-hour battery charge for about 120 pesos (US$3), said Athena Ronquillo, founder of GRIPP.

“The iconic jeepney remains, but without wasteful and carbon emitting diesel, while providing increased incomes to the vehicles’ drivers,” she said. About 50 electric jeepneys are planned eventually. SD

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