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Electric Jeepney Trials in the Philippines

Launch of the E-Jeepneys. Click to enlarge.

The Makati City (Philippines) government, GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer), and Greenpeace launched a pair of electric jeepneys (E-Jeepneys) into service trials. Makati City is the financial hub of the Philippines.

Philippine renewable energy firm Solar Electric Company designed the two E-Jeepneys. The vehicles will undergo technical and commercial tests for 6 months in Makati City and eventually in key areas in the province of Negros Occidental.

The electric fleet will be increased to 50 units upon the successful conclusion of the test phase. Power for recharging the jeepneys will be generated by a high-solid anaerobic digester-based power plant using biodegradable wastes from the city’s food establishments and wet markets. The E-Jeepneys have a range of 140 kilometers (87 miles) on an eight-hour battery charge.

Jeepneys were born in the 1950s from left over WWII US jeeps. The jeeps were then refurbished to accommodate more passengers, augmented with metal roofs for shade and decorated with vibrant colours and bright ornaments making them popular and creative public transportation vehicles. While Jeepneys have evolved over the years they remain highly polluting and inefficient.

There are more than 777,000 vehicles on Makati’s major roads during weekdays, according to mayor Jejomar C. Binay, who sees the electric jeepneys as a way of reducing carbon-emission levels in the country’s financial center.

The Electric Jeepneys are part of an project led by GRIPP seeking to avoid the use of fossil fuels to help mitigate climate change, even as it addresses urban problems such as air pollution and solid waste.

The Electric Jeepneys aim to demonstrate that there are climate-friendly alternatives to the current polluting modes of public transportation in the Philippines. The iconic jeepney remains, but without wasteful and carbon emitting diesel, and while providing increased incomes to the vehicles’ drivers.

The pilot test in Makati is meant to ensure the technical, commercial, environmental and social feasibility of the project. If the project is successful, our hope is that the project will be replicated in other cities in the country and possibly other Asian capitals.

—Athena Ballestros Ronquillo, founder and chair of GRIPP



I am glad to see that the 3rd world isn't sitting around and waiting for us to come up with workable transportation that doesn't involve burning fossil fuels. Although I guess since Greenpeace is helping, it isn't entirely their own effort, but this is still an encouraging development.


The developing world actually has a lot more at stake than the developed. Richer countries can far outbid poor countries for scarce fuel. So shortages are bound to develop in the poor countries first. They should be far more aggressively pursuing alternatives than they are.

Max Reid

Yes, when it comes to renewables and AFV's developing countries are doing a very good work.

In CNG powered vehicles, the list is lead by

Even in Ethanol, Brazil is #1, though US is in #2 and catching up fast.


If you are tired of waiting for the big 3 to build something that does not run on fossil fuels, you can always build your own electric vehicle. Thats what I did and it has been great fun driving it around the city. shows hundreds of build it yourself electric vehicles.

This week I got my solar panels installed on the garage roof. Using the PV panels to recharge the bike makes for a total carbon free transportation system. See for my low cost solution.


KJD, how much did it cost you to convert? that is a very interesting idea. also, how many hours of work did you have to put into it?


For the motorcycle EV conversion it cost me about 4k for all the components. This includes fixing all the stuff that was wore out on the original bike.

It took me about 4 months worth of spare time to build. I would guess about 200 to 300 hours. I am sure that the next one I build will go a lot faster than that. Everthing is easier the 2nd time around.


It's great to read that hundreds of electric cars could running around in Mexico, soon, to fight global warming/climate change.

However, I'm guessing that the good e-car folks in will find the $$$$$ cost of batteries to be un-affordable, and simply abandon EV's, as they have here, even in BC, Canada, where (in my estimation) 80% of electric cars are idle and unlicensed (with less than 40 registered in the whole province.)

Therefore, if and when they discover that can't afford the cost of replacement batteries, perhaps the folks in London will come back to this question and look at my Vancouver-made zero-cost battery electric pickup truck video URL/link, of the Global TV newscast, which I just uploaded to Youtube:
I'm offering the methods of using discarded batteries to power EV's.

Rob Matthies
Vancouver, Canada

Sigbert Scheb-Bünner

the greatest problem is that electric engergie is often produced by fossile energy. and the real efficiency of electric vehicles is low. normaly less than 20 percent. When produce non CO2 emitated electricity and use base load then its ok. Actually most important is to reduce the pollution of old vehicles by better maintanance. An Jeepney with 30 l about 8 gallon at 100 km (approx. 13 gallon per 100 miles) ist to much, its the same as a new bus for 50 persons with air condition. With modern maintannce concepts and little knowledge the engergy can be reduced up to 20 percent. Think this would be the most efficient method with immediate effect

Steve Keats

Assuredly the source of power to charge the batteries of E-jeepneys is an issue, but even where fossil fuel is used to power the generators for that power, it will be vastly cleaner and more efficient than conventional vehicles. Modern electric motors convert more than 80% of the electrical energy supplied to them into mechanical energy,and none of that energy is wasted by idling the engine. I am heartened by this development and wish the developers every success. Is anybody doing these conversions for that equally iconic mode of transport the "owner type jeep"? I would love to own one, were it available!


Hopefully they are using Lithium iron phosphate batteries.
How about seeing some electric trikes too ?


That is the advantages of 3rd world countries, a lot yet does not have an industry so making an industry standard would be easier, as compared to 1st world that has established a lifestyle and any changes can be catastrophic in their economy


That is the advantages of 3rd world countries, a lot yet does not have an industry so making an industry standard would be easier, as compared to 1st world that has established a lifestyle and any changes can be catastrophic in their economy

Salvie Einosas

The problem with the viability of electric vehicles in the Philippines is the high cost of electricity itself.
Other alternative fuels also require capital investments on the manufacturing and distribution infrastructure.

LPG offers quick-benefits because it is readily available.

The sad thing is the fact that we produce CNG in Palawan, but it is not available to our public transport sector even in Metro Manila only. It could make a positive impact on fare rates and the transport of commodities.

Our company, Fleur-de-lis Int'l. Trading Corp. is introducing LPG powered vehicles in the country. It is both economically beneficial to owners and the invironment as well.

nice hope u can show us the diagram and parts used so that we can base or have an idea from it so that we can tryto build our own.

Danilo Purzuelo

We are Jeepney Drivers in Iloilo City registered in the Department of Labor and Employment, Region 6.

We belong to the Villa Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association (VILJODRAS). We are curently given Free computer training by the Overseas Workers Administration.

We are interested in the electric jeepney. We do not have resources to purchase these units, can we have them for lease or rent to own scheme?

rommel natanauan

Greenpeace/GRIPP calls it e-jeepneys but they don't look like the iconic jeepneys. That's simply a misnomer. Why not just call them electric utility vehicle?
How can it be truly friendly to the environment if the rechargeable batteries are toxic and it appears that a system to recycling them or properly disposed of them is not in place? Greenpeace/GRIPP seems to execute this project without doing feasibility study first. Fragmented approach will not solve the problem that it tries to address but may even complicate it--producing more pollutants in other forms.
The only truly environment friendly approach is using compressed air to create mechanical energy.

Account Deleted

It always blows me away when people have so much to say about a subject...but talk doesn't get the job done.

I live in Mandaue City and I can assure you that the polutants created by the many vehicles that transport people here is staggering. Some here in this formum argue that it will take the right type of batteries and others that the cost of electricity is restrictive; and yet the concern about what to call an ejeepney is some sort of an issue. About the only thing that makes any sense in this string is the person asking for more information on HOW to make an e-vehicle.

Photovoltaic panels work to produce power and the need is most assuredly there...what isn't in place is the minds to put it all together. OK, so I am one person here on Cebu that wants to know more...and do more, so if there is anyone willing to get together to brainstorm this issue I'd love to hear from you and get together to move forward...rather that talk about it.

I apologize if I have offended anyone, but the time for true action is now. Criticizm without advice is useless. I saw my first motorbike conversion in the late 60's...yeah about 40 years ago and I saw my first demonstation of an e-powered car in the mid 50's when Fisher Body went school to school trying to find young minds for future designers for GM.

I belive that instead of contemplating building new e-vehicles that exsiting combustion vehciles can be converted to e-vehicles and that finding the capital to get this project underway is available and I for one will jump in with both feet. Anyone interested in doing the walk...and not the talk? For myself I am moving ahead with this project and could use some help.

There is little doubt that there is a need for supportive technology in the areas of batteries and even in the pv panels to provide power, but it is from trial and error that we move forward...and moving forward is what is needed.

John Pymm

can anyone tell me if the original electric jeepneys are still running? Can someone tell me where and how many electric jeepneys are now in use in 2011 ?

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