E-Trikes Attracting Attention

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, April 30, 2009 | | 3 comments »


After Puerto Princesa and Taguig City, it is now the turn of the city government of Makati to deploy electric-powered tricycles (e-trikes) in the financial district as traffic and security patrol vehicles. Named the 'Aerocab' by its designer, the egg-shaped version of electric tricycles will be tested for one week along the busy Ayala Avenue.

The e-trike is a modification of a gasoline-powered single motorcycle with a sidecar. The difference is that it is powered by electricity, has no emission and is noise free. This alternative mode of transportation is also efficient, easy to use, more stable and safer for road travel.

After it was introduced last October 2008, several local government officials have already expressed interest in acquiring these huge golf-cart-like vehicles that are powered by five 12V batteries. They need six to 10 hours of charging for a range of 100 to 120 kilometers at speeds of 30 to 45 kilometers per hour.

The design and noiseless features of e-trikes make it more suitable in business districts, private subdivisions, resorts and even military camps. No wonder it has been used already to ferry personnel in Philippine Air-Force (PAF) airbases in Villamor, Mactan in Cebu, and Clark in Pampanga.

The cost of each unit ranged from about PhP 140,000.00 to PhP 150,000.00 and it can carry up to 8 passengers or 800 kilos of maximum payload, compared to only 5 passengers for their gasoline-powered counterparts. The eight-hour charging requirement will only cost PhP 38.00, way below the estimated cost of around PhP 200.00 for gasoline by the current breed of trikes. Hence, income of operators could increase by up to 200 percent and operation can be decreased by as much as 70 percent.

Question is, can the local government convince the tricycle operators in their areas to shift to electric-powered units to ease up on air pollution and help stop global warming? Since these 'passenger-friendly' trikes are a lot slower compared to their polluter version, more initiatives are required during the transition. Nevertheless, local officials are very optimistic that they can promote it because it is more financially viable in the long-term.

At present, manufacturers and dealers of e-trikes are increasing in number. Aside from its inventor, Antonio Aguilar of Marilao, Bulacan, Electric Vehicle Solutions and Aerocab Corporation are also selling the e-trikes to the public.


  1. online writer // May 1, 2009 at 1:48 AM  

    this is really helpful to the environment.i hope more cities will promote E-trikes.time for the government to act on it.

  2. Gregorio // May 7, 2009 at 2:48 PM  

    Not only are they helping the environment they are just plain cool.

  3. Ana P. S. // May 10, 2009 at 5:43 AM  

    Wow! E-trikes are super cool!

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