Govt seeks lower e-trike prices

by Alena Mae S. Flores – December 06, 2015 at 11:40 pm

from Manila Standard

The Energy Department is pursuing talks with a lone bidder to further reduce the manufacturing cost of electric tricycles, after initial negotiations resulted in lowering the price by 27 percent.

“We had a meeting with the winning bidder. Again, its a re-negotiation, the second time around to really come up with a low price. We want to bring down the cost further and with the presence of an independent EV expert recommended by ADB [Asian Development Bank],” Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos told reporters.

Marcos said ADB recommended e-vehicle expert Andrew Campbell of New Zealand to join the negotiations with Uzushio Electric Co. Ltd. of Japan and local partner BEMAC Electric Transportation Philippines Inc. “to really come up with a lower price.”

Marcos said the department during the previous negotiation managed to cut the cost by 27 percent. “But now that we’re negotiating again with the presence of e-vehicle expert, we’re hoping we can still bring it down,” he said.

Marcos declined to say the cost offered by the lone bidder, but a source said the original price tag was over P600,000 per e-trike.

“The ultimate end user would be drivers and the [local government unit] would play a major role because they are responsible for the issuance of franchise and traffic management ordinance of their localities,” the government official said.

Marcos said once the cost was finalized, the department would again seek a no-objection letter from the ADB before the final award.

Uzushio and BEMAC were the only one among five interested bidders that complied with the requirements of the department to supply and deliver 3,000 e-trikes.

The department bid out an initial supply and delivery of 3,000 e-trikes in May as part of the government’s Energy Efficient Electric Vehicles Project.

The first batch of the e-trikes are scheduled to be rolled out in the capital region and Region 4 A and 4B.

Land Bank of the Philippines, as conduit of the ADB, will collect and repay the multilateral lending institution for the deployment of the e-trikes.

The project, largely financed by the ADB and the Clean Technology Fund totaling $500 million, will be implemented for five years.

The project is expected to insulate stakeholders from the price volatility of imported petroleum products.

The project aims to deploy 100,000 e-trikes nationwide to replace the same number of traditional gasoline-fed tricycles, reduce the transport sector’s annual petroleum consumption by 2.8 percent (equivalent to 89.2 million liters) a year and achieve 79-percent carbon dioxide foot print avoidance.

Each e-trike unit features a 3-kWh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, can negotiate flat and uphill terrain and comfortably seat up to five passengers.

Energy is also studying the diversion of the planned second batch of bidding for electric tricycles to other types of e-vehicles to address the cost and bidding delays.