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2012-12-11 14:13

ENVIRONMENTALLY AND WALLET FRIENDLY: The e-trike is a cost-effective and green alternative to the fuel burning,conventional trikes used in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines - This island nation is to roll out 100 000 electric tricycles in an effort to rid its cities of the smelly petrol-powered ones that ply its cities.

The Asian Development Bank hopes the "e-trikes" will provide an alternative to the smoke-belching motorised tricycles which ferry Manilans along narrow streets not served by buses.

WAY FORWARD

ADB energy specialist Sohail Hasnie said the bank hoped the e-trikes would eventually replace some of the estimated 3.5-million motorcycles and tricycles in use across the country. He said in a video message: "It will not stop at e-trike. It will expand horizontally to other transport such as buses... and once that happens, nationwide, the country's consumption of oil will come down."

The more than R4-billion project received the green-light on Tuesday but a launch date has not been set.

The e-trikes, powered by an electric motor with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, cost only R10 for a daily charge compared to the R70 in fuel a normal tricycle burns every day, the ADB said. There had been generally favourable reaction to a pilot project of 20 e-trikes in service in Manila since l2011, the bank said.

Five solar charging stations will be built so the e-trikes can be powered without drawing on the electrical grid.

Other countries have also expressed interest in the e-trikes, Hasnie said, and the Philippines hopes to become a centre for their manufacture.

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