Demonstration City: Pasig
Knowledge products related to demo activities and e-mobility in general, such as light electric vehicles, urban logistics, charging infrastructure, and vehicle integration, were incorporated into the SOLUTIONSplus online toolbox and shared with the city. This has supported Pasig city in understanding the technicality as well as policy and planning aspects of the e-mobility system.
Pasig stakeholders joined the Asia regional and Pasig-specific training on e-mobility in 2021 and 2022. In May 2021, SOLUTIONSplus organised an online training on ‘How e-mobility and integrated urban mobility planning can contribute to the SDGs in Asian cities’. The Asia Regional training (online), which followed in October 2021, provided a combination of introductory knowledge about the electric mobility sector and the prerequisites for planning the electric mobility ecosystem, as well as specialized topics on electric vehicle management, selecting and setting up charging infrastructure, and cross-cutting topics. In the same month, Pasig-specific training (online) discussed those topics addressing the local context.
In December 2022, Pasig City organized a 3-day training focusing on the rôle of Philippine cities on EV adoption and planning for charging infrastructure. The event also facilitated knowledge exchange between the Pasig City Government and six other Philippine city governments who showcased their respective e-mobility initiatives and experience. Various city representatives from the transport, planning, environment, and council offices joined the discussion on how to address capacity and policy gaps to foster the uptake of e-mobility in their cities.
On the 5th of December 2022, the e-quadricycle or e-quad was officially launched as part of the pilot demonstration of the SOLUTIONSplus Project in Pasig City. The event was attended by members of the Pasig City Government, team members of the SOLUTIONSplus Project (Clean Air Asia, Wuppertal Institute and Urban Electric Mobility Initiative [UEMI]), as well as representatives from ToJo Motors. City Mayor Hon. Vico Sotto gave the keynote speech and was accompanied by Vice-Mayor Dodot Jaworski, Congressman Roman Romulo, and members of the City Council during the inspection of the e-quad prototype at the venue.
The e-quads and FLEVs are envisioned to provide valuable insights into using of such multi-purpose, smart, locally designed and assembled EVs in lieu of the current internal combustion engine vehicles in the City Government’s fleet. Moreover, the presence of such a cohesive pilot intends to inspire others as to what might be possible with the entry of such systems. This comes as an effort to deliver sustainable urban mobility solutions to the City, especially as local government units in the Philippines are required to increase the share of electric vehicles in their fleet with the passage of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) in 2022.
In Pasig City, the pilot demonstration involves the shared use of e-quadricycle for passenger and cargo use to support the City’s day-to-day operations.
E-quadricycle and FLEV prototype development: Local manufacturer - Tojo Motors completed development of the prototype of the flexible electric vehicle. Due to changes in the specifications of some vehicle parts from suppliers (e.g. China standardized the battery capacities so the originally proposed specification has been phased-out), the specifications for both e-quadricycle and FLEV had to be changed accordingly. They are currently in production phase using these newly updated supply parts. Combining the nimbleness of smaller vehicles and the carrying capacity of larger vehicles, the e-quad can accommodate four passengers and bear a maximum load of 450 kilograms. Another vehicle that will be used for the pilot demonstration is the flexible electric van or the FLEV. The FLEV is being developed by ToJo Motors and the De La Salle University through a funding mechanism of the Department of Science and Technology, and features a chassis that can be used for multiple purposes. Both vehicles are modular in nature and can be configured in a variety of ways to suit the vehicle requirements of their end-users, which will primarily be the different offices of the Pasig City Government. Tojo motors received advisory support on FLEV Chassis structural Assessment from PEM motion (German start-up, selected from EU Innovators call).
Booking app: With the help of De La Salle University, a booking app is currently being developed, which will be used by Pasig City offices to reserve and schedule a vehicle of their choice for use in the conduct of their respective operations. The booking app was tested for use by Pasig City’s different office representatives. As a proxy to the SOLUTIONSplus e-quadricycles and FLEV that have yet to be produced, the app trial run was used on Pasig City’s current vehicle fleet, which include their existing e-tricycles. The feedback from the app trial run was used to modify some features of the app and customize it according to the operational needs of Pasig City government. The booking app is ready for use once the e-quadricycles and FLEV are on the ground for the vehicle demo test.
The impact assessment of the demonstration activity in Pasig is currently underway to assist in scaling up the project.
In the Philippines, the National Urban Mobility Programme, locally called the Philippine Urban Mobility Programme, or PUMP, concept document has been developed to operationalize the National Transport Policy. SOLUTIONSplus will develop a paper to enhance the said document further looking into unlocking urban mobility opportunities through electrification and taking into account the lessons learned from the pilot demonstration. A policy paper focusing on catalyzing city-level actions on e-mobility and sustaining pilots will also be formulated to form pathways for e-mobility uptake.
Shared Use of E-cargo Quadricycles
The demonstration in Pasig will focus on integrated and shared urban logistics solutions, as well as investigate the potential for public charging solutions. The activities on-the-ground will also include those that aim at improving the enabling conditions for e-mobility, and enhancing local capacities related to e-mobility.
Locally Developed/Assembled E-Cargo Quadricycles
Locally appropriate solutions addressing urban logistics are deemed to be quite important, as conventional vehicles that are currently being used are not particularly effective in conducing efficient movements considering the local conditions in the urban areas. The SOL+ demo will aim at producing and testing urban cargo quadricycles that are suited to the local conditions and can potentially transform how urban deliveries are done in the country.
These quadricycles combine the nimbleness of smaller vehicles and the carrying capacity of larger vehicles that are currently being used in conducting urban deliveries in Pasig (e.g. motorcycles, cargo tricycles, and mini vans). An example of a small L6 cargo quadricycle is provided on the picture on the right.
Potential Use Cases
The electric quadricycle vehicles to be developed will primarily be used for delivering parcels and letters within the City of Pasig. Other use cases will be explored as well, such as the shared use with the nearby public market, as well as waste collection.
A “shared vehicle use” concept will be investigated for feasibility in the Pasig pilot This concept would centre on the shared use system that would feature the use of the vehicles by PHLPost during the normal delivery hours of the day, and the conduct of last-mile deliveries for the Pasig City public market during the early hours of the morning (e.g. 3 am to 5 am). This concept is being explored as such shared usage would lead towards optimised total costs of ownership. This concept is also seen as a solution that can significantly alleviate urban congestion around public markets.
Flexible Electric Van
SOL+ will also be supporting a proposal being led by the De Lasalle University to a funding mechanism of the Department of Science and Technology to develop a “flexible electric van” (FLEV proposal) which features a chassis that can be used for multiple purposes (e.g. passenger/ cargo). Essentially, the vision is to make the FLEV also compatible for handling the cargo boxes to be used in the SOL+ quadricycles. SOL+ can provide a couple of units of the Valeo motors to the FLEV proposal. SOL+ (through the city equipment budget) can also purchase a unit of the FLEV for the use of PHLPost, which can replace one of their dilapidated minivans.
Trends and drivers
The International Energy Agency (IEA, 2018) estimates that 103 million tons of Carbon dioxide (CO2) was emitted by fossil combustion-related activities in the Philippines. Thirty percent (30%) of the CO2e emissions was contributed by the transportation sector, with road transportation contributing 85% of the sector’s emissions (25% of the national total). Road transportation has also been implicated as the priority source of air pollutant emissions by the national air pollutant emissions inventory by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which estimates that road vehicles emit 65% of the emissions load (DENR, 2017).
Vehicle motorization in the country has primarily been driven by motorcycle growth in the recent decade. Between 2004 and 2017, the registered vehicle fleet in the country has grown at an annual rate of 15%, with motorcycles growing at an astounding 18% per annum, with the total registered motorcycles tripling in size within the period – 1.8 million to 6.1 million (see Figure 2). Such growth can potentially be explained by increased access (driven by economic growth and availability of financial schemes that require low down payment) to motorcycles, and also perhaps due to the state of congestion in many of the major urban agglomerations in the country. Recent analyses have pointed to Metro Manila as having one of the worst congestion levels in the world, and Cebu being the worst place in the world to drive in (Waze, 2015; Numbeo, 2019).
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) registration data shows that the on-road electric vehicle fleet in the country is primarily dominated by electric tricycles (three-wheelers) and electric motorcycles (see Figure 3). Historical documentation of the growth in registered e-vehicles is not yet available as the rules regarding the registration of e-vehicles have varied over the years. LTO is yet to announce, for example, the adopted rules for registering e-motorcycles. These issues are related to the fact that the underlying national laws still pertain to vehicles as those having internal combustion engines. MMC et al.(forthcoming) has documented 15 models of e-jeepneys, 21 models of e-tricycles, 11 models of electric cars, and 61 models of other two to quadricycle models available in the Philippine market.
E-mobility has been slow in picking up in the country. In 2014, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) forecasted that the e-vehicle fleet in the country would be at approximately 54,000. As seen in the registration figures, the actual registrations have been far off these projections. Multiple significant barriers (i.e. high acquisition costs, limited charging infrastructure, lack of social and technical familiarity, registration issues, lack of financial incentives) have contributed to such a slow uptake (MMC et al., forthcoming). There have been e-jeepney pilot projects in the past in several major cities (e.g. Makati, Pasig), as well as pilots involving e-tricycles. The most recent one, the ADB-DOE project, is discussed in Section 2.E. However, no significant levels of roll-out have been achieved to date.