Lopez firms buying electric buses

get comet edited

Lopez Group companies under First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) is purchasing two electric buses from GET-Philippines, the local arm of US-based Global Electric Transport Worldwide, Inc. (GET).

FPH said that its engineering and construction subsidiary First Balfour, through unit Therma One Transport Corporation (TOTC), recently reached an agreement with GET-Philippines for the initial acquisition from of two, new-generation COMET (Community Optimized Managed Electric Transport) electric buses.

TOTC also finalized a separate agreement with electric transformer maker First Philec, another FPH subsidiary, for the use of the first COMET bus by First Philec employees. The bus will particularly be used in Lopez-owned First Philippine Industrial Park in Batangas.

TOTC plans to replicate the non-polluting transport project in other business sites and projects where the project will be suitable. 

“We have been integrating sustainability in our businesses and in how we operate. We have been looking at investing in electric vehicles for service vehicles for some time now. For us, this is the future,” TOTC President Anthony Fernandez said in a statement.

Fernandez said the 30-passenger COMET buses, scheduled for delivery in October, can travel up to 100 kilometers on a single charge. Each bus also comes equipped with wi-fi connection, a global position system (GPS) device, and other amenities, including a contact-tracing app. 

He explained that each COMET bus can displace an estimated 40,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) that the bus would otherwise spew to the atmosphere, if it were to run on fossil fuel.

Studies have tagged the transport sector as a major emitter of CO2, a greenhouse gas whose massive and continued buildup in the atmosphere is being associated with climate change and destructive weather patterns, such as typhoons and floods. An overwhelming number of motor vehicles around the world run on gasoline or diesel — fossil fuels with high CO2 content. 

A shift to the use of electric vehicles, which emit no CO2, has been identified as one solution to check the buildup of more greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. GET is developing green transport solutions, like the COMET as its response to the climate problem.

“I personally believe that the greatest of all achievements starts with an agglomeration of small, meaningful, and truly insightful steps. This demonstrates that we are ready to forge collaborations and partnerships for a decarbonized and regenerative future,” said First Philec President Ariel Ong commented.  

“Partnering with the Lopez Group, an organization renowned for its priority in the sustainable enterprise is a huge milestone. We expect that we will be together at the forefront of what we believe is a changing of the guard in the transport and sustainability sector,” GET-Philippines President Freddie Tinga stressed.