Electric trains, jeepneys, trikes pushed as transport amidst oil price hikes

Electric trains transport
The Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) uses diesel fuel and electric batteries while the e-Trike is now used by the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City.

Electric trains and trikes developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have been proposed as transport solutions amidst the oil price hikes brought about by tight global supply following the Russia-Ukraine situation.

DOST shared in a virtual presser the readily available technologies developed by the department and other plans that can alleviate the impact of the current situation of rising oil prices.

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DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña pushed for a fuel diversified transport system and solutions in a special virtual presser held on March 9, 2022.

The science chief said that electric vehicles or e-vehicles are already being manufactured here in the country such as the e-Trike, e-scooter, and e-Jeepney, aside from the Hybrid Electric Train and Hybrid Electric Road Train, the latter having been adopted in the regions.

“We (DOST) have already developed several innovative products, particularly in the case of mass transport like Hybrid Train which is already in the possession of the Philippine National Railways. We have also developed the running prototypes of Hybrid Electric Road Train which are now in the possession or being run in the cities of Cauayan in Isabela and General Santos in South Cotabato,” said DOST Secretary de la Peña.

He also shared that hopefully, before the end of June, the Hybrid Trimaran will be launched.

Sec. de la Peña further explained that while the trains are using fuel and batteries, they can be charged and reduce their fuel consumption by about 25%. Meanwhile, for a trimaran, it uses wave energy where power is converted into mechanical energy that results in the reduction of fuel consumption.

On the other hand, for e-vehicles, an ongoing project on e-Trike is now being implemented by the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City, wherein the implementors are from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Engineering.

Sec. de la Peña also said that DOST would like to promote the locally developed e-vehicle fast charging systems and modeling tools for strategically locating charging station sites for the particular number of e-vehicle for a specific route.

“Our goal and plan right now in DOST is to find ways to support its enhancement through improved infrastructure and continuous research and development related to them (e-vehicles),” said Sec. de la Peña.

He added that DOST has also developed earlier the electric charging stations for e-vehicles called Charging in Minutes of CharM which refer to the rapid charging system that reduces the charging time of utility-grade electric vehicles from hours to just minutes.

Meanwhile, on the use of fuel, the country’s science department recommends a technology to help monitor and conserve energy like cloud-based monitors and e-sensors.

“It can provide smart and comprehensive decision support that management can use whether they have to make adjustments for example, in the use of certain equipment, or they need to replace equipment that is not functioning well and wasteful in the use of energy,” said Secretary de la Peña.

On the other hand, DOST-III Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat shared their regional efforts in developing and utilizing an alternative source of energy for mobilization such as the solar cart that has already been developed by the Tarlac State University.

“Tatlong taon na rin pong tumatakbo rito without charging kasi mayroon po siyang solar panels sa ibabaw at dinesign po ng TSU ang kaniyang charging system such that habang ginagamit mo siya o naka-park sya, nagcha-charge siya. Mayroon pong regulator ‘yun kaya hindi nao-overcharge ang battery. I believe this is something that is ready for commercialization,” explained Director Sicat.

“Dapat pong i-adopt natin para ipakita natin na maaari po tayong maging mobile without relying from fossil fuels,” he added.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.