In a bid to ramp up its alternative mobility efforts, the Pasig City local government held on Monday, Dec. 5, a pilot demonstration of electric vehicles (e-vehicles), in partnership with the Urban Electric Mobility Institute and Clean Air Asia as part of the SolutionsPlus project.
The Solutions Plus project is a global initiative that seeks to develop “fit-for-purpose e-mobility solutions,” in adherence to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda.
It is supported by the European Union and has implemented projects with partners from various countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.
Pasig City is one of only three cities in Asia that are a part of the SolutionsPlus project. The other two cities are Hanoi, Vietnam, and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Through the project, start-up companies and the local government, with assistance from national agencies, are given opportunities to design and “locally-appropriate” solutions that promote clean energy in transportation that are molded and responsive to each city’s needs.
The e-vehicles will also utilize “case optimal charging solutions” and integrate “e-vehicle sharing systems” that feature user applications, monitoring, and decision support mechanisms.
The showcase featured a prototype of the electric quadricycle or “E-quad,” developed and built by local start-up company, ToJo Motors.
Another e-vehicle planned for the city’s use is the Flexible Electric Van or FLEV that can be transformed into multi-purpose forms such as a single cab pickup, double cab pickup, and a passenger or cargo van.
The FLEV project is being made in cooperation with ToJo Motors, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the De La Salle University (DLSU).
Gracing the showcase were Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, Vice Mayor Robert “Dodot” Jaworksi Jr., Congressman Roman Romulo, city councilors, and members of the City Transport Development and Management Office (CTDMO).
Among the event’s esteemed guests were Dr. Oliver Lah, the managing director of the Urban Electric Mobility Institute, Atty. Glynda Bathan-Baterina, the deputy executive director of Clean Air Asia, and representatives from ToJo Motors.
Sotto reiterated his support for clean energy initiatives, saying the showcase is a clear indication of the local government moving in the right direction, away from using fossil fuels.
“Kasama niyo po kami sa pagsulong ng alternative mobility. Plano talaga natin na magramp-up sa mga bilang ng electric vehicles sa lungsod natin hanggang sa dumating tayo sa punto na, one day, puro electric vehicles na ang fleet ng ating lungsod (We stand with you in pushing for alternative mobility. We have planned to ramp up the number of our electric vehicles until our local government’s whole fleet is utilizing e-vehicles),” he said.
Aside from merely transport purposes for government employees, Sotto said he is also eyeing the use of e-mobility technology for their garbage collection vehicles, especially those that roam the smaller streets within the city.
“This is a stepping stone to a wider transition to e-mobility that goes well beyond the big SUVs and Teslas that none of us can afford. These are the vehicles that are modular, fit for purpose, generate jobs and economic opportunities,” said Dr. Lah.
“As we know, we are still in a pandemic and respiratory health is really a priority for our people. This solution ensures that there are no tailpipe emissions coming out of transportation,” said Atty. Bathan-Baterina.
To supplement the project, a three-day training workshop will also be conducted and organized by Clean Air Asia.
Transport officials and other affiliated constituents will be taught topics such as institutionalizing electric mobility in local government transport systems, establishing charging stations, and capacity-building to ensure alternative mobility.
Last July 4, the local government launched a newly installed e-vehicle charging station at the Pasig Mega Parking II at the City Hall, in partnership with Clean Air Asia, and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).