Can the jeepney lead the way to a bright future of clean, renewable energy?
These jeepneys will.
Pioneering cities in the Philippines are welcoming Electric Jeepneys as part of an innovative project that aims to use energy from biodegradable waste from the city's wet markets, food establishments, and households to power an environment-friendly public transport system.
The result is a system that addresses urban environmental problems such as air pollution and solid waste. But, more importantly, these Electric Jeepneys are an example of a concrete and viable way in which cities can contribute to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Senator Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate's environment and health committee, however, lambasted the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) for its failure to classify the vehicle, thus, rendering it unregistrable at the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Jeepneys are derived from the World War II-era "jeeps" used by the Americans for multi-purpose land mobility.
Many pro-environment groups are calling for the pull out of this Filipino "icon" from the streets due to its environmental hazards caused by the mostly surplus diesel engines from Japan to run the vehicle.
Passenger jeepneys are also facing increasing restrictions and regulations for pollution controls, as they increase amounts of traffic and consume lots of fuel. A recent study published in a Metro Manila newspaper compared the fuel use of a 16-passenger jeepney to a 54-passenger air-conditioned bus and found that the fuel consumption for both was the same. With major roads clogged by empty jeepneys cruising for fares, there is intense pressure to remove them from the streets of Metro Manila and other cities.