Solar vehicles conversion eyed

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SERVICE vehicles of the city government of Baguio may be converted into solar-run machines in the future.

Recently, an advocacy group introduced a solar-powered bus and tricycle from Cambodia with promising features of minimal noise and zero gas emission.

The solar vehicles were allowed by the city government to ply the central business district for road test with free public rides for two months.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the road test will be the basis on social acceptability of the solar vehicles and will also show its road worthiness.

“The city may adopt the solar vehicle as service cars but we have to see first its capacity and capability to run uphill,” Domogan explained.
The maintenance cost and repair of the solar vehicles has to be studied also, Domogan said.

But this early, Domogan suggests the use of solar tricycles to replace the golf cars in the private golf clubs in Baguio to minimize burning gas or diesel.

“If the road test turns-out good, maybe we can also recommend the solar vehicles to our jeepney operators,” he added.

The solar-powered vehicles were manufactured by Star8 Asia PTY LTD in Cambodia and were introduced by Glad to be GREEN (G2BG) advocacy group.

Utilizing the power of the sun, the mini bus and the trike have minimal noise as well as zero gas emission.

Meanwhile, Councilor Joel Alangsab who chairs the city council’s Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Traffic Legislation, said the concept for green vehicles plying the city streets is good as these are environmentally friendly, lowers pollution and supports renewable energy.

But he said the group should work on the registration of the vehicles to the Department of Transportation and Communication and other agencies concerned to clarify matters like its franchise and how long the solar panels can will last.

Alangsab explained the issue at the moment is if the vehicles can go uphill so it would be acceptable to public utility vehicle drivers and operators.

“We cannot also make special route for it otherwise affected drivers would complain,” Alangasab added.

Gladys Vergara of G2BG said the bus can accommodate 20 persons while the tricycle can accommodate 10. The vehicles have a capacity of 20 degrees inclination only but she said new models abroad have higher uphill driving ability. (Jessa Mardy Polonio)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 18, 2016.

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