Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meralco commits to assist e-vehicle program
Paul Anthony A. Isla, 23 November 2010

FINANCING electric jeepneys and tricycles remain to be the biggest challenge most operators face, Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC) said on Tuesday.

“The biggest challenge is in the realm of financing. People can go to banks and get financing for SUVs at the expense of polluting the environment,” Constantino said at the sidelines of the First Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit.

He also pointed out that it’s high time local commercial banks open closed windows of lending opportunities for private sector, electric jeepney and tricycle operators and local government.

Constantino said lending to electric- vehicle operators enables the owners and other stakeholders to spread out the cost and accelerate the deployment of electric-vehicle applications.

He added that the government also plays a huge role in the program.

“Any signal it provides is something the private sector will respond to. For us, the electric vehicles program is an opportunity to making the solutions for tomorrow available to Filipinos today,” he added.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said it took two years to register the electric jeepneys plying around Makati City with the Land Transportation Office.

Binay said the local transportation regulatory body still has lots of room for improvement, particularly for electric vehicles.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) president and chief executive, committed to help finance the country’s electric-vehicle program.

Pangilinan said Vincent Perez, former Energy secretary and now World Wide Fund-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) chairman, estimated that the program would need 5 million.

“Perez mentioned an amount of 5 million needed for three years, I’m not sure, though if that’s in dollars or pesos,” the Meralco president said in jest.

Pangilinan quickly added that Meralco would definitely help, particularly a local industry that develops e-jeepneys and e-tricycles.

He also noted that Meralco could look into setting up charging stations where electric vehicles could recharge their batteries and they will have enough supply to meet the demand for electricity. #

Photo by Nonoy Lacza/BusinessMirror

No comments: