eSakay’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet that will soon ply one of Metro Manila’s busiest commuting routes between Makati and Mandaluyong, was introduced at a launch ceremony at the Circuit Events Grounds in Makati City last January 18, 2019.
The need for electric vehicles and green technology has never been more relevant.
Land Transportation statistics from 2017 revealed over 10.4 million vehicles traverse the country’s road network, with 2.5 million on those jostling on the overburdened streets of Metro Manila alone.
Reports from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) indicate total vehicle sales of 425,673 units in the same year.
Though the perception is that fewer people are buying new cars due to higher excise taxes, rising inflation, and increasing fuel prices, sales figures still managed an 18.4 percent growth rate.
Numbers indeed show an economy on the uptick.
But it brings new challenges to mitigate pollutants from a dependence on fossil fuels, prompting stakeholders to study how to reduce carbon emissions through the use of EVs.
eSakay, an end-to-end electric transport solutions provider, helps address the country’s snowballing transportation concerns and answers the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) gradual but inevitable shift in its massively ambitious 2017 Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
With an opportunity to play a significant role in the government’s PUVMP, eSakay, incorporated in 2018, applied for and eventually received provisional authority to operate 15 eJeeps for the Buendia MRT Station-Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter St. developmental route.
The modern eJeeps from eSakay are 100 percent electric and emission free, compliant with PUV innovations for the convenience and safety of the riding public: equipped with side entrances, onboard Wifi, an automated fare collection system, GPS tracking system, CCTV cameras, USB ports so passengers can charge their phones while traveling, and others. The service will also have priority seating for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
“Meralco has long been an advocate for the wider use of electric vehicles in the country with the EV shuttling service and electric bike sharing program at the Meralco Center in Ortigas. It soon became clear to us that electric vehicles were indeed a viable transport solution. That’s when we partnered with private companies, government institutions and now, public transport operators who expressed keen interest in utilizing EVs for their transport needs,” said eSakay Chairman and Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo S. Panlilio.
“Beyond supporting transport operators by supplying ePUVs and building charging stations, we realized that we could create a greater impact by being one with them. From this, was born our project to operate an electric jeepney route connecting Mandaluyong to the Makati CBD” said eSakay President/CEO and Meralco Vice President Raymond B. Ravelo at the unveiling.
In addition, the PUVMP ensures that drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihood. eSakay’s thrust is to encourage and enable existing operators to modernize their fleet. The eSakay team worked with the Makati and Mandaluyong LGUs to conduct community-based hiring for the route and also had successful discussions with transport associations in the area.
“This project is just one of many steps in our efforts to spur EV adoption, as we work towards a common goal of nation-building, sustainable growth and inclusive development. With this route, we, at eSakay, hope to prove the viability of electric vehicles and inspire other operators to follow suit,” Ravelo closed.
Also present during the event were DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark De Leon, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III, DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III, Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay, Makati City Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, Mandaluyong City Administrator Ernesto Victorino, Meralco Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, Meralco PowerGen President Rogelio S. Singson, Development Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo, and Philippine Racing Club, Inc. President and CEO Simeon S. Cua.