As the Philippine government continues its push to modernize public utility vehicles, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is promoting electric- and liquefied petroleum gas-powered jeepneys, aimed as viable alternatives to a change in sustainable transport fuel.
The announcement came as the government extends the deadline for the program to December 31, 2023, via DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit.
Dubbed “modernized Kings of the Road” in his statement, Paringit claims that the vehicles in question are in compliance with the regulations and are in line with the government’s thrust towards electric-powered vehicles and other types of mass transport.
Still in its prototype design, the 23-seater Philippine National Standard (PNS)-compliant electric jeepney is being co-developed with the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP).
As opposed to the traditional jeepney that runs on diesel, the electric jeepney is powered by lithium-ion batteries which come with the benefit of having zero emissions and no noise. Additionally, a single full charge of the battery covers the entirety of a 55-kilometer range.
Unlike other vehicles that were made using metallic components, the electric vehicle is designed to withstand harmful elements, thanks to its non-metallic body that offers high resistance to corrosion as well as chemicals.
Part also of its design is a slew of smart features, namely a dashboard panel that gives the driver some control over and view of the vehicle such as the opening and closing of the side door at a press of a button, an emergency button that stops the vehicle from moving, and standard LED display that informs about the vehicle’s running speed and remaining battery charge.
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies developed the LPG-powered jeepney, which is a partitioned 18-seater PUV and comes with amenities, such as a cashless payment system, a dashcam, a CCTV camera, a rear emergency exit door, PUV stop buttons, digital route signage, and a ramp for persons with disabilities (PWD).