The process of electrifying the Philippines’ transport systems has just received a big boost, as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently announced that it has taken the lead in mobilizing and prioritizing e-mobility innovations.
The country’s science agency had declared that it was “continuously prioritizing an ecosystem of e-mobility solutions for the country’s transportation sector, since fuel prices have reached new highs.”
In a statement, DOST said: “When the Department of Energy (DOE) said that it was planning to procure e-trike units, DOST had anticipated the need for S&T intervention such as electric vehicle (EV) charging needs, low-cost battery storage system, battery management system, low-cost materials and production for e-trike, battery parts and components, mining technology to source out raw materials, etc. Therefore, the agency has invested over P321 million on e-mobility-related projects to modernize and uplift the transportation sector and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to save the environment.”
Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), urged for more efforts to boost financing for e-mobility research and development and use and adoption of research-based technologies in the transportation industry, while stressing the lower costs of e-mobility, which could be up to 40% less than fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
During a virtual press conference, DOST announced 16 e-mobility initiatives targeting diverse sectors of the transportation industry:
• E-Mobility R & D Center. Once completed in Cagayan province, this would be the country’s first e-trike center. Within this initiative are the following projects: Design, development, and fabrication of the e-trike parts and assemblies; design, fabrication, and testing of locally developed electrical and electronic systems, and; viability study of conversion of conventional tricycle to e-trike;
• Intelligent electric transportation systems. DOST is helping develop automobiles made from locally available materials and designed and manufactured by Filipino engineers. Two of these are the hybrid electric train (HET) and the hybrid electric road train (HERT). Under this initiative are three more projects: Ad-hoc vehicle infrastructure cooperative environment; Emocion: Electric mobility and charging infrastructure operating as a network, and; e-trike deployment and utilization investigation;
• Charging in Minutes (CharM). The CharM project attempts to reduce the time it takes to charge electric automobiles. In comparison with the traditional 4 to 6 hours of sluggish charging, this fast-charging system can fully charge electric automobiles in 30 minutes. The capabilities of CharM are crucial in aiding the country’s development into a more flexible and ecologically friendly mass transportation system;
• 23-seater electric jeepney (e-Jeepney). This initiative tackles the design, development, demonstration, and business planning of a flexible electric van (Flev) for logistics and passenger transport;
• The Safe, Efficient, and Sustainable Solar-Assisted plug-in electric boat, or the Sessy E-Boat;
• E-Boat chargers;
• Design of a modular stator, segmented rotor switched reluctance motor;
• The DOST Niche Centers in the Regions (Nicer) R&D Center for Advanced Batteries. Among the most well-known R&D centers, Nicer will collaborate with host universities to develop strong R&D capabilities in the regions. Three additional development projects are listed under this—the NextGen: Advanced cathode materials for next-generation batteries, the REBCell: NiFe high-energy density batteries, and the Alab-EU: Advanced lead-acid batteries;
• Fabrication of aluminum-air reactor battery
According to Paringit, e-vehicles are less expensive to maintain, since they have fewer moving parts than traditional automobiles, making maintenance easier, less frequent, and more economical overall. He also maintains that EVs will help minimize harmful air pollution by not generating any emissions. E-mobility solutions would help alleviate the Philippines’ difficulty in meeting its energy needs as the country transitions to renewable energy sources.
“DOST-PCIEERD welcomes the public’s participation as pioneers and partners in facilitating innovations to speed up the country’s transition to e-mobility,” he added.
MAIN PHOTO: The flexible electric van (Flev) prototype