The e-Future Motors PH, Inc., a manufacturer of electric (e)- jeepneys, already invested P11.5 million in Bacolod City for the operation of e-jeeps in the city, BK Shin, chief executive officer of e-Future Motors, said Friday, September 22.
Shin said by the end of November this year, at least 36 units of e-jeep will be delivered in Bacolod City, which will be used as public utility vehicles (PUVs).
He said the 36 units were already ordered by the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative, owner-operator of the modernized People’s Jeep.
He added that in the future, they will invest more money in Bacolod for the expansion of their operations in the country.
Once the units arrive in Bacolod, e-Future Motors will also conduct training for the drivers of Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative to familiarize themselves with the operation of the e-jeep, and it’s for free.
In July, the e-jeepney manufactured by China-based Jiangsu Fengchuen New Energy Power Technology Co. Ltd., a mother company of e-Future Motors Ph, Inc., was launched at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC).
The launch was led by Benitez along with the members of the City Council and officials of the Fengchuen company, led by its chairman, Li Longde.
Robert Cerrada, chief operating officer of e-Future Motors, said they already finished their test run in Bacolod, and they conducted some adjustments on their units, such as their design, battery, and others.
He said the PUV modernization program of the government aims to modernize and unify the fragmented PUV industry and to upgrade or replace PUVs that are older than 15 years to comply with environmental and safety standards.
He added that the program was rolled out in 2017 to replace jeepneys by 2020, but the date of the phase-out and consolidation was moved to 2021, to 2022, and then again to the end of 2023.
Cerrada noted that the Jeepney Modernization Act seeks to have modern and environment-friendly jeepneys on the road.
He stressed that the advantages of the jeepney modernization program are that it can reduce harmful carbon emissions, ensure public safety through the GPS (Global Positioning System) and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, punctuality, comfort, and certificates of public convenience (CPC).
Cerrada said the e-jeep will cost P2 million per unit and can accommodate at least 21 passengers.
The interior height is 1.75 meters, and it is equipped with an air conditioner with four speakers, a radio, a four-way CCTV, and GPS.
Cerrada said once they start their operation in Bacolod, they can offer the e-jeep in other regions of the country for their public transportation.
“Bacolod City is our pilot city in the Philippines, and we will build our plant here maybe after three years which will depend on the demand for the units,” he said.
He added that their main office is located in China, and they have overseas subsidiaries in Korea, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Singapore, where their main markets are Europe, Canada, and Southeast Asia, among others.
"We aim to grow to be the global No. 1 in the field of new energy commercial vehicles,” Cerrada said.
Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez earlier said they received positive feedback from the public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators, and they claimed that they can have big savings in operational costs if they use the e-jeepney.
“They (PUJ operators) are very much okay to use the e-jeepney and they have already signified that they will order their units to operate in the city,” Benitez said.
He said the city will create a technical working group to determine the charging stations for the e-jeepney.
Once they determine the location of the charging stations, he added that the city will initiate the installation of charging stations.
Like other countries, Benitez disclosed that Bacolod City should be one of the pioneers and leaders in moving towards a program of electric vehicles.*