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Firm eyes electric bus fleet

Ed. note iCSC features a special by Alena Mae Flores of Manila Standard Today. Electric public vehicles are definitely on the move, and this time it will come in the form of electric buses. iCSC has long welcomed the entry of all models of electric public transport, and the initiative of Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport should certainly be celebrated. When rolled out in Makati City, it will create critical synergies with iCSC’s eJeepney fleet project and the city government’s low carbon urban development program. There’s no looking back.

Firm eyes electric bus fleet

By Alena Mae S. Flores, Manila Standard Today

Local firm Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport Corp. has expressed interest to some 3,000 electric buses in the next seven years, company officials said.

Green Frog director Philip Apostol told reporters that the purchase would be in phases, with the initial 38 units expected to come from China this year.

Apostol said the 36-passenger buses will be fielded in Makati City, with an P8 fare per trip.

“The plan is to implement the project within 90 days after the signing of the MOA (memorandum of agreement) with the Makati LGU. This is a PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) with Makati,” he said.

The first 10 buses arriving midyear will ply the Buendia line while the 28 units take to other routes.

Apostol said charging stations will be located in Makati and the buses will be charged at night for a three hours.

A single charge for about P60 will be good for 120 kilometers equivalent to 15 round trips in the Buendia route, he said.

According to Apostol the company also expects to earn from advertising “about half of the revenues.”

Servillano Batac, also Green Frog director, said they were talking with the government and financial institutions for the mechanics of a “tap-and-go” system for the electric buses.

“The idea is that you will be able to use your MRT (Metro Rail Transit) cards to pay our electric buses, just like in other countries,” he said.

Apostol declined to give the cost for the initial 38 electric buses but confirmed that they are discussing plans with local banks to finance the importation.

“We hope to reach financial closure in a month,” he said.

He also urged the government to come out with the incentives for the electric vehicles although the company may file for a pioneer status with the Board of Investments in order to get tax perks.

“If they (government) are serious about this, they should give incentives like duty-free importation of equipment,” Apostol said.