THE jeepney may be the king of the road, but it is also responsible for toxic fumes that cause global warming.
Now, a new kind of jeepney is being pushed as the first phase of a climate-friendly cities campaign by Green and Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), a consortium of environment organization Greenpeace and nongovernmental organizations from Negros Occidental.
The e-jeepney is powered by 12 six-volt, deep-cycle batteries. Its electric motor is similar to that of a big electric fan, and it can travel for 120 kilometers on a single charge. It has no emissions, and the motor automatically shuts down when it comes to a stop, thus saving batteries.
Two cities are trying out the e-jeepney: Bacolod and Makati. For now, the e-jeepney is charged by plugging it into a conventional socket, but the two cities have committed to building biodigesters, which will generate electricity from biodegradable waste.
However, some roadblocks remain to the widespread adaptation of the e-jeepney, including its hefty price tag, and skepticism from transport groups. Though definitely a greener form of transportation, the next three months will be critical in determining whether it is also a feasible one.
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