36 e-jeepneys from China due in Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY – A Chinese-Korean electric vehicle firm revealed on Friday, September 22, that 36 units of electric jeepneys (e-jeepneys) from China are expected to arrive here by the end of November.

E-Future Motors Philippines (PH) Inc. received an order from their first client in the Philippines – the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative, owner-operator of the modernized People’s Jeep that ply the Fortune Towne-Central Market route here.


CHIEF executive officer (CEO) BK Shin (left) and chief operating officer (COO) Robert Cerrada (seated, second from left) of e-Future Motors Philippines Inc. lead a press briefing in Bacolod City on Friday, September 22. (Glazyl Masculino)

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez earlier said that the test run of the e-jeepney received positive feedback from operators as they can save bigger on operational cost, considering the oil price hike.

In a press briefing, chief operating officer (COO) Robert Cerrada said they want Bacolod to be a model and pilot city for the use of electric vehicles for public transport in the country.

“When everything is in place in Bacolod and running well, we can replicate this in other cities smoothly,” he added.

The firm, a subsidiary of Jiangsu Fengchuen New Energy Power Technology Co. Ltd. that manufactures e-jeepneys and battery systems, has initially invested $200,000 or about P11.5 million to put up its office in this city.  

“It is just for the making of the company (in Bacolod). In the future, we will put in more money because we have many things to do,” according to chief executive officer (CEO) BK Shin.

Cerrada said that they are planning to conduct free training for drivers and maintenance technicians before the arrival of the e-jeepneys.

He noted that it is very important to learn the diagnostics of electric vehicles because these are totally different from  traditional vehicles.

Cerrada said that the driving component is the easy part, but the more complicated part is the diagnostic or troubleshooting of the vehicle.

“They have to be really trained for their safety, otherwise they can die because we’re dealing with electric,” he added.

In July, the city government launched the e-jeepney after Benitez met officials of Jiangsu Fengchuen during the state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to China in January.

The firm had earlier signified to construct its electric vehicle plant here, its first in the country. However, Cerrada said that putting up a plant here depends on the demand for electric vehicles.

The e-jeepney manufactured by Jiangsu Fengchuen, which will have a look of the iconic Pinoy jeepney, can accommodate 21 persons, and is equipped with an airconditioner with four speakers, a radio, and four-way closed circuit television camera (CCTV), and a global positioning system (GPS). It also has a front door for up and down, a rear door for emergencies.

The city government is working on how to put up charging stations for the e-jeepneys.