Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. turned on the ignition of a new breed of commuter bus that was designed to run on batteries thus, produces no greenhouse gas (GHG) and is a boon in the government’s efforts to stop climate change.
The introduction of the battery-powered bus, called eBus, was made possible through the program dubbed ‘Victory Against Climate Change’, a partnership between the Climate Change Commission and Victory Liner, one of the leading transportation operators in the country. President Benigno Aquino III is the Commission’s Chairperson.
Under Republic Act 9729, also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, the Commission is mandated to promote and provide technical support to local research and development programs that will help address climate change.
“We are looking at the eBus as one of the vehicles that will carry government efforts to address the causes of climate change. The use of gasoline or diesel in our vehicles has been identified by science as one of the causes of climate change as it produces carbon dioxide, one of the major GHG in our atmosphere,” Ochoa explained.
Sec. Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, Commission Vice Chair, said that the use of battery-powered vehicles is one of the strategies under the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. She also said that the greenhouse gas inventory of the Philippines revealed that the transportation sector is the highest emitter of greenhouse gases.
“You need not be an expert to recognize the problem of pollution in the cities, particularly in Metro Manila. Just look at our streets and you will see commuter vehicles belching black smoke. That is not only bad for our climate but also for our health,” she said.
Sering said that there is a need to engage the private sector more in the effort to fight against climate change and expressed hope that other transportation companies will adopt the new technology.
The bus runs on 400V “Winston” rare-earth Yttrium Lithium-ion battery with a maximum speed of 90 kph. It can carry 52 passengers, 26 seating and 26 standing capacity.