By Anna Valmero
BATANGAS CITY, BATANGAS—An alumnus of the Batangas State University (BSU) won the nationwide competition for the best electronic tricycle (e-trike) design contest by the Department of Energy (DOE).
Engineer Allen Marie Pirales, who dubbed his design “The Second Wind,” gives a modern look to the tricycle with emphasis on a compact vehicle to traverse narrow roads but without compromising passenger comfort.
“My inspiration is the original tricycle. They say that Filipinos are ingenious to the point that they were able to allow eight passengers from the standard two-passenger motorcycle. And the real problem is the smoke. I have always thought this can be improved,” said Pilares.
Pilares was also a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology and graduated with a degree in Electronics Engineering from BSU.
Pilares, together with first runner-up Julius Valiente of the University of the Philippines and second runner-up Norriele Ace Serrano of the Mapua Institute of Technology, were given P200,000 each.
The design contest is one of the projects of DOE to resolve the country’s dependency on price-volatile petroleum fuels.
Tricycle remain to be a significant mode of transportation for the public in cities and remote areas. Around 3.5 million tricycles nationwide which translates to 45 percent of all registered motor vehicles.
Conventional tricycles, however contribute to air pollution due to its carbureted two-stroke engines.
A pilot launch of e-trikes last year by the DOE and Asian Development Bank (ADB) showed that an e-trike is cheaper to operate than a conventional tricycle, which needs P250 of gasoline to cover 100 kilometers in a day.
An e-trike only needs electrical charge worth P50 to cover the same distance, according to the study.
Meanwhile, DOE and ADB teamed up to create a National Electric Vehicle Strategy to be funded with $500 million from the latter.
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