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Thursday, October 19, 2017

DOE cancels $300-M e-trike loan with ADB

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By Myrna M. Velasco

The Department of Energy (DOE) has formally cancelled the $300-million credit facility dangled by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the country’s electric tricycle (e-trike) rollout program.

However, the loan portion for the initial 3,000 e-trike fleets already awarded had been requested retained, according to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi.

“For the e-trike, I already cancelled the loan – supposedly the funding for 100,000 e-trikes. But for the 3,000 units, since bidding was done and units were already produced by the winning supplier, we’ll go ahead with that – so the canceled loan portion should just be for the 97,000 units,” he explained.

The energy chief said he specifically stated that in his letter to the ADB, but he has yet to get a formal reply from the bank.

“I informed them (ADB) in writing. I have not received any response yet,” Cusi said.

The envisaged nationwide deployment of e-trikes had been a flagship program of the Aquino administration – and part of the country’s bigger vision toward electric mobility.

But Cusi repeatedly indicated to media that the cost of the e-trikes had been expensive, and may turn out not viable enough both for the operators and penny-pinching drivers.

The energy department, under the past administration, had just been looking at a price point of R150,000 to R200,000 per e-trike, but unfortunately, the cost subsequently swelled to R250,000 per unit.

Under the terms of the ADB loan, the initial drawdown was programmed at $100 million — intended for the purported first phase rollout of 20,000 e-trikes. That should have been accomplished in 2015, but as can be gleaned now, the deployment of the fleets actually traversed extremely bumpy roads.

The higher end of the government’s target on e-vehicles’ rollout would have been at 100,000 units and this is seen accomplished until year 2020.

The ADB loan was approved in September, 2013, but it took time even to work on the bidding parameters for the e-trike providers – that alone was more than a year to complete.

The credit facility was from ADB’s “ordinary capital resources” in the amount of US$300 million, and can be “converted from time to time through a currency conversion;” in accordance with the terms agreed upon by the parties.

Realistically though, the entire electric vehicle paradigm for the country is still struggling on the policy formulation sphere – until now, there is no firm framework that underpins the program.

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  • Dante

    good work doe philippines does not need e trikes…..

  • Philipmon

    The DOE should revisit the cancellation of the procurement. If it is too expensive, then consider negotiating down the cost or rebidding the entire procurement. DOE should source from local manufacturers so it would create local jobs (manufacture and maintenance) and help in pollution control efforts. It would also help our country from being too dependent on imported fossil fuels.

    • Raven Claw

      There is already a local company that manufactured e-trike and traditional filipino e-jeepney locally. check out le’ guider international, cost of their e-trike is lower than the procured e-trike and their EV system is a very good one.

  • jimmy

    This loan should be diverted to (mono) trains being locally develop and testing at UP Diliman Campus. We do have a lot of engineers to complete it and put to good use ASAP.

    • uncommonsensibility

      Erm no? That’s an even worse appropriation of funds intended to spur an industry.

      • jimmy

        May I know why did you say that? Do you know what needs to “spur” so the Philippines can achieve an “industrialized” country status?

        • uncommonsensibility

          You want to subsidize R&D for something that you can already buy cheaper abroad? You lose both time and money doing so. Run a business first, if not shut up.

          • jimmy

            Really!!!… buy cheaper where? And provide employment to them, rather than Filipinos. You do not know about running a business. It is innovate or die is the name of the game. And it all start with R&D. You shut up!

          • uncommonsensibility

            You’re an idiot. You really are. You have no basic understanding of what this project is, who it is for, and the industry it is supposed to seed.

            You want funds to be allocated just because you think it is a wonderful idea to finance R&D on a project that has no mass production potential let alone a functional local supply chain to support it. That is why it is far more inefficient to produce those things here.

            You are so bloody ignorant that is it is offensive.

          • jimmy

            And you think you’re smart by calling some one idiot. hahahahaha…. Did you say no mass production potential? hahahahaha… Developing, producing and providing mass transport (like train/monorail) made locally in the Phils is not… hahahahaha.. ang laki mong tanga at bobo. You do not know what you are saying.
            You are really a smart idiot… hahahahaha…..
            Such a waste is your life…. hahahahahahaha.

          • uncommonsensibility

            You do not have the requisite industries and the talent pool to support these things. The cost of subsidies (as what you are aiming for) to get this even to a level of acceptable competitiveness would be huge. The opportunity costs of allocating resources to areas of industry with higher yields would be a better use of funds.

            No rail project succeeds without huge government subsidies. Nothing is for free.

            So no, I’m smart because I actually studied, applied and worked in areas that put comparative advantages to good use. You are stupid exactly because you insist telling people you’re right even if you obviously have no clue how these things work.

          • jimmy

            Yeah. and you have the requisite? hahahaha… You do no know the intricacy of managing a business much as the development and research to be more successful..
            But in fairness, the way I read your post I can say that,
            You are an educated prick, studied and mastered the science of stupidity at university of I.M. (idiots and moron). And apparently, I presume you are summa graduate. ciao!

          • uncommonsensibility

            “Where do you at now?” For one, in a far better grammatical state.

            You think subsidies are a magical tool, but given the fact you can’t understand the requisite heavy industries required to even produce a practically custom built engineering product, it simply means you’re out to get the money for yourself. Seen too many of you.

          • jimmy

            And now you are a judge? hahahahaha…. this really proves that your likes are such a waste. Please STOP breathing precious oxygen…
            Trying to justify you know everything that you clearly lack of. I have encountered your clan, called LOSERS and surely will again.

          • uncommonsensibility

            So you’re now going off tangent because your feewings got hurt.

            You obviously have zero knowledge in engineering, sciences, manufacturing, and business. So yes, I am calling you out.