February 29, 2024

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Hybrid Electric Road Train to Be Deployed in Ilagan City, Philippines

The Philippines may be on the verge of a revolution in electric vehicles. Not only is the country’s vehicle market expected to expand rapidly in the coming decades, but the Philippine government has acknowledged that transportation electrification must be a key component of the country’s decarbonisation strategy.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) developed the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) will be manufactured in Ilagan City, Isabela province, Philippines, and used as an alternative mode of transportation. In a virtual signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), DOST Secretary said that Ilagan City Mayor expressed interest in adapting the HERT and using it as an alternative mode of transportation for front-liners, community outreach activities, and other purposes.

The city also aims to enhance the skills of students through the fabrication of HERT. “Through HERT, DOST hopes to serve the best interest of the people in Ilagan City, particularly on its need for an environment-friendly mass transportation facility. It can be a great complement to the existing public transportation system in Ilagan. Also, during this time of the pandemic, HERT can be used by the front-liners, especially during lockdowns, when there is limited public transport,” he said. He also added that a consortium in Isabela will do the fabrication.

Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) can help the city grow economically. The fabrication of HERT in the province would help its local manufacturing industry and economy. It can provide job opportunities for engineers and manufacturers.

– DOST Secretary

HERT is a 40-meter-long interconnected coach designed by DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Centre (MIRDC). The DOST previously stated that the HERT could accommodate 220 passengers per coach. “It was called ‘hybrid’ because instead of just running on diesel fuel, HERT is also powered by electric batteries, therefore creating lesser carbon emission compared to vehicles that run purely on gasoline or diesel,” he said, adding that HERT can help Ilagan City to be a greener and very livable city.

An article by OpenGov Asia reported that the Philippine electric vehicle (e-vehicle) industry aspires to create a country in which the use of electric vehicles is strongly promoted, encouraged, and supported by the government and society in building a transportation landscape that is ecologically and economically sustainable. They are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation because their entire life cycle is far more sustainable. Driving compensates for their higher manufacturing emissions as they use electricity as fuel.

The nation continues to develop its electric vehicle market as industry and government are cooperating to support electric vehicle adoption in the Philippines. From an energy sector perspective, proposed legislation seeks to build an entire ecosystem supportive of EV’s by requiring the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) to create an Electric Vehicle Roadmap that will form part of the Philippine Energy Plan. It will include a charging infrastructure and fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

Recently, the Philippines has adopted a low carbon, energy-efficient electric or E-vehicle technology in “low carbon cities” under a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-7 project to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce air pollution.

In the meantime, Isabela State University (ISU) will conduct research and activities that will be beneficial to HERT as part of the MOU signing. The MIRDC will provide technical information to fabricators in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement. DOST-Region II, on the other hand, will commission a feasibility study of HERT’s viable network (train stations, road space provisions), fare system, and transport passenger flow. The Ilagan government will identify potential routes and address infrastructure requirements such as road widening.


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