By LELILANIE ADRIANO
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Imagine the city proper of Laoag with battery-powered vehicles or electric taxis transporting passengers from one place to another. No gas emissions, equals fresher air to breath.
This is what the Laoag City government wants the city to become as the administration of mayor Michael Fariñas wants to purchase more electric taxis to service commuters especially tourists and senior citizens around the city.
To date, Laoag has purchased at least two e-taxis painted light green and pink.
It is the newest city next to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Taguig and Marikina that has acquired battery-operated taxis aimed to promote the use of environment-friendly electric vehicles. One unit e-taxi cost about P160, 000.
Fariñas said the city government has allotted more funds to buy larger electric vehicles that could accommodate at least nine passengers. Aside from that, the city has also about 10 electric-powered smart bikes used by traffic aid enforcers.
“It may be expensive but in the long run, it comes out cheaper because you don”t need to buy oil and fuel to operate it,” said Fariñas in an interview.
Record shows that there are some 2.2 million tricycles in the country. Most of these are powered by very dirty engines, and the government recognizes that this is a major problem. To help remedy the situation, the Philippines has entered into a joint venture agreement with Leo Motors to build new electric taxis.
The government made an initial counterpart contribution of $5 million to get it started and Leo Motors is to provide at least 2,500 electric vehicle kits, including batteries that will be assembled by the newly formed company. Each unit will be powered by a lithium polymer battery that can either be recharged in the vehicle or swapped out at designated “Fresh Battery Stations”.The first city to get the EVs was Puerto Princesa, the capital of the province of Palawan. #nordis.net