The Department of Energy (DOE) is set to finish the distribution of the 3,000 electronic tricycles (e-trike) once its partner, Asian Development Bank (ADB), approved their proposed amendments.
The revisions of the project include the rebranding of the electric vehicles (e-vehicles) program into the tricycle modernization program and the distribution of the e-trikes to private parties and other government agencies.
According to DOE-Energy Utilization and Management Bureau director Patrick Aquino, they hope to finalize these amendments with ADB before July ends so they can complete the distribution by within the year.
In June 2013, DOE and ADB proposed the introduction of 100,000 e-trikes to replace petrol-run units in the hopes of diminishing carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter of million tons.
On Sept. 27, 2013, the government, through the DOF, signed two loan agreements and a grant agreement with ADB for the implementation of the “Market Transformation through Introduction of Energy Efficient Electric Vehicles (E-Trikes) Project.”
However, last December, the proposed number of units was cut to 3,000 to lessen the expenses
shouldered by the government as no operators availed them due to the steep prices (P250,000 to P455,000), maintenance, and lack of charging stations.
The cost of the project was reduced to P1.73 billion from the initial budget of P21.672 billion.
Last month, the Commission on Audit (COA) called out the DOE for failure to distribute even a single unit of the e-trikes to the intended beneficiaries.
The DOE replied through a letter informing COA that it waited for the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee’s approval on their revisions which included the loan cancellation of at least $359.76 million.