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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Only Filipinos can design E-Trike, says Sec. Almendras

by Precie Catherine C. Cuarto

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) -- Who better to design an electric tricycle--that can fit six people, or can be loaded with a sack of rice or livestock--than a Filipino?

Thus, the DOE launched today the “Nationwide Contest for the Best E-Trike Design” that seeks to “bring out the best ideas from Filipinos” for an electric tricycle (E-Trike) that is safe, functional and practical.

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said that while companies from technologically advanced countries have expressed interest in investing in developing the E-Trike, they preferred that Filipinos provide the design for the three-wheel vehicle.

The e-Trike program is part of the DOE’s solution towards lessening the country’s dependence on petroleum products, and protecting the people from the effects of rising oil prices worldwide.

“Sabi nga ng mga Hapon, ‘mas marami pa kaming matututunan sa inyo about this vehicle format’ because sa Japan wala naman silang tricycle,” Almendras said.

(Japanese investors said it is from Filipinos they can learn much about this vehicle format because there are no tricycles in Japan.)

He also quoted a Japanese auto expert as saying the motorcycle was designed to carry two people, or a maximum of three—but Filipinos were able to use it to carry eight people.

While funds needed to develop the technology will not be a problem, Almendras said, what is needed at this time is the design for the E-Trike. “We’re looking for a practical design,” he said. “One that can be used in Metro Manila, in a poblacion, one that could fit a hog, that can accommodate sacks of rice or vegetables—a utility vehicle.”

Almendras said that the tricycle can be considered as the mode of transportation of the “vast majority” of Filipinos. “More Filipinos benefit from this move of transportation,” he said.

He added that in the provinces tricycles are used not only to transport people, but also for business. “How many times have we seen a tricycle loaded with two sacks of rice, and so on?” he asked.

“Kaya po kami nag-focus sa tricycle,” he said “kasi kung ito ang solusyunan natin, napakalaki ng impact nito dun sa mga kababayan natin na nangangailangan ng the most solution to higher energy pricing.”

(This is why we focused on the tricycle. If we are able to develop the technology for e-Trike, it will have a huge impact on people most vulnerable to oil price hikes.)

Almendras further said many Chinese and Japanese businessmen have shown interest in what could be the start of a “rural utility vehicle.” A representative of a Japanese firm said that the e-Trike may also have market overseas, especially in developing Asian countries.

The deadline for submission of design entries will be on February 17, 2011.

The winning E-trike design may be adapted in the implementation of the E-trike project of DOE, which aims to benefit around one million registered tricycle drivers nationwid.

Almendras also said that some 20,000 E-trike units will be delivered to local government units, which will then be responsible for franchise, operations, supervision, and regulation of the e-Trikes.

For more details about the design contest, visit the DOE website at

Almendras was guest in today’s episode of the Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) sponsored by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and Philippine Information Agency and aired live over PTV4 and Radyo ng Bayan.


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