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Asian Development Bank providing $300M towards replacing 100K gasoline trikes with E-Trikes in the Philippines; $300M for major road upgrades in Chhattisgarh, India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $300 million towards a project that will replace 100,000 gasoline-burning tricycles in the Philippines with electric tricycles, or E-Trikes.

About 3.5 million gas-fueled motorcycles and tricycles are currently operating in the Philippines, typically serving as short-distance taxis, with the average tricycle driver earning less than $10 a day. E-Trike drivers will save upwards of $5 a day in fuel costs, and the new E-Trikes have the capacity to carry more passengers. E-Trike drivers saw their daily incomes more than double during a pilot program in Metro Manila.

The new E-Trikes, which run on an electric motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, will be introduced to Metro Manila and other urban centers across the Philippines under a lease-to-own arrangement. Replacing 100,000 gasoline-powered trikes will enable the Philippine government to save more than $100 million a year in avoided fuel imports, while decreasing annual CO2 emissions by about 260,000 tons.

In line with the government’s plan to develop a national e-vehicle industry, the project will support the establishment of an e-vehicle parts industry, battery supply chain, and charging stations, including five off-grid solar charging stations.

Without intervention, the Philippines is on a course to almost quadruple CO2 emissions in less than 25 years, the ADB said. Based on an ADB study, gasoline-fueled tricycles are responsible for more than two-thirds of all air pollution generated by the country’s entire transport sector.

In addition to its $300 million loan, ADB is also administering another $105 million loan and grant from the Clean Technology Fund for other Philippine environmental-focused projects. The Government of the Philippines is providing $99 million counterpart funding for the project. The project will run for five years, with an estimated completion date of December 2017.

$300M to India’s Chhattisgarh State for major road upgrades. Separately, ADB announced it will provide $300 million to overhaul more than 900 kilometers (559 miles) of roads in India’s Chhattisgarh state.

More than 40% of Chhattisgarh’s 21 million residents live below the poverty line. Low quality roads are undermining the benefits of the state’s rich mineral and coal deposits, holding back new economic opportunities and access to social amenities, especially for minority groups.

—Juan Miranda, Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department

Road works will include expanding roads to two lanes, building new sections, and constructing and strengthening culverts and bridges. The project supports Chhattisgarh’s priority investment program to improve more than 8,800 km (5,468 miles) of state roads. Once the project is completed in December 2017, ADB will have financed upgrades to nearly 2,200 km (1,367 miles) of the network.

Chhattisgarh is rich in timber and minerals, including coal, iron ore, tin, limestone and bauxite, but is one of the country’s poorest states, with one of the lowest standards of living. About 80% of its residents live outside of cities and rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

Roads account for the vast bulk of passenger and freight transport in India, but a boom in traffic levels over the past decade has left them struggling to cope. Secondary roads carry about 40% of traffic, but around half of them are in poor condition. Chhattisgarh, in central India, has about 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) of roads, but about 80% of the total network is considered rough, with some sections impassable in the monsoon season.

Technical assistance grants of $1 million from ADB and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) will help improve Chhattisgarh’s road maintenance management capabilities. Along with ADB’s loan from its ordinary capital resources, the Government of Chhattisgarh will provide more than $128 million, for a total project investment cost of $428.1 million.



Two excellent project to:

1) reduce fossil fuel consumption and air pollution in the Philippines. This project could be multiplied by 10X ++. .

2) foster economic development in India. Project 1) could also be expanded and be applied in many cities in India.


are those 100k e-trikes sustainable?..by that I mean will the Philippines be able to replace them when they wear out or will they still depend on handouts from the western world?... $3k per e-trike sounds a bit too much for a person making $10 a day.. How long will the batteries last?

Thomas Lankester

@Herm what do you mean by 'still depend on handouts from the western world'?

This is being funded by the ASIAN Development Bank with a LOAN.

The amount the driver makes is not the issue (though it would be nice if that increased as per the pilot). It comes down to the savings on fuel costs @ $5 per trike per day i.e. $0.5M per day across the fleet. $300M payback time is therefore 600 days or 2 years allowing for days off. That should easily be in the life time of Li ion batteries and if the loan is paid back over 10 years, then it allows working capital to be built up for replacement batteries.

This ignores all of the other financial benefits to the drivers and Philippines economy - lower maintenance costs, reduced health care costs, indigenous EV production and maintenance tax revenues and potential carbon trading benefits if it helps keep the per capita CO2 emissions down.


Well said Thomas but anti-electrified vehicles are not yet ready to see all the benefits. Their children or grand children may be?


The main benefit would be a reduction in urban pollution (chemical and noise).
+ a reduction in oil imports.
As long as they have the finance to enable purchase of the vehicles, it sounds fine - better, really good.

However, I hope they are powerful enough - I have seen 5 people on a "tricycle" taxi.

Very scary when they go over ramps.

As we see, electric 4 wheelers are rather expensive, 2 and 3 wheelers may be a better bet until we get better batteries.


You can see a picture here:


I dont think you can fit 5 people in it..

Bob Wallace

I suspect you haven't spent time in Asia. Five people in that tuk-tuk (Thai)/auto rickshaw (India) is only a partial load. Full is something more than four in the back and three in the front. Perhaps seven if most are carrying packages.

Nepal has been using electric very-minibuses for some time.

My only question would be time of charging. You're possibly asking these guys to shut down during the day.

Electric would certainly be an improvement. But at least a lot of the two-cycles engines have been removed from the cities. I was in Dhaka on the day they banned two-cycle auto rickshaws and the improvement in air quality was very noticeable.

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