Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) electric vehicles unit eSakay Inc. launched on Friday a fleet of e-jeepneys in support of the government’s PUV Modernization Program.
eSakay will be deploying 15 units of e-jeepney to ply the MRT Buendia-Mandaluyong City Hall route via Jupiter Street.
The electric jeepneys will be operating from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight.
The minimum fare is P9 for the first four kilometers and P15 for an end-to-end trip, eSakay chairman Alfredo Panlilio said when the e-jeepneys were launched in Makati City.
eSakay's e-jeepneys are equipped with GPS, Wi-Fi, CCTVs, automated fare collections system, and USB charging ports. The e-vehicles have a charging time of eight to 10 hours and can travel up to 100 kilometers at a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
Each unit cost P2 million, Panlilio said.
“Beyond supporting transport operators by supplying electric PUVs and building charging stations, we realized we could create greater impact by being one with them. From this was born our project to operate an electric jeepney route connecting Mandaluyong to the Makati Central Business District,” eSakay president and CEO Raymond Ravelo said.
Drivers employed by eSakay get a monthly salary, an arrangement that removed the boundary system in line with the PUV Modernization Program’s aim of providing drivers and operators a sufficient and stable livelihood.
“The eSakay team worked with the Makati and Mandaluyong LGUs to conduct community-based hiring for the route and also had successful discussions with transport associations in the area,” Ravelo said.
In March 2018, Meralco secured an approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to incorporate eSakay Inc. as a “wholly owned subsidiary … to engaged in the business of owning, maintaining, and operating transport service networks of charging stations, batteries, and vehicles utilizing electric energy and other alternative energy sources.”
The newly formed Meralco unit has 1,127,098,705 outstanding shares and debt securities amounting to P18.5 billion. —VDS, GMA News