Asia is home to half the world’s population, and its urban population is expected to increase by 61 percent by 2050. That growth has fueled a surge in car use and, in turn, air pollution, which killed more than 2 million people in low and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia in 2012.
Today motorized tricycles and brightly painted jeepneys, refashioned American military vehicles from World War II drive through the streets of Manila, billowing exhaust into a sky so filled with smog that the sun rarely makes an appearance.
The country that brought us Manny Pacquiao is also packing a punch against pollution and emerging as a hub for electric vehicle innovation. The country’s emerging as an epicenter of electric vehicle innovation as government-support initiatives to replace exhaust-spluttering public transit vehicles with cleaner, quieter electric models.
Cars from companies like Tesla and the local public transit are tackling the country’s twin problems of air pollution and a booming population making Electric Vehicles easier and faster. About 15,000 Vehicles Will Replace 30,000 Jeepneys, And Could Even Begin Using Solar Power In 2017.
An estimated 3.5 million motorized tricycles zip through the Philippines, releasing 260,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year. To replace these gas-guzzlers, the Philippine government will contribute $98 million to a $500-million joint project between the Asia Development Bank and Department of Energy to put 100,000 electric-powered tricyles, on the road.
Asia Development Bank is working with local government units to establish financing mechanisms that will allow drivers to lease or lease-to-own e-trikes for less than $5.00 per day with money that would otherwise have gone toward gas.