Previous Mayor's project scrapped

“It generates chaos,” said the newly-elected mayor of the nation's capital about the proliferation of electric tricycles during a meeting with the Metro Manila Council on Thursday, July 25.

This statement came after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised him that these battery-operated vehicles are classified as “toys” by the government. MMDA Chairman, Danilo Lim, asked the Manila mayor if he could look into the e-trike issue, because they do not seem to follow specific limits, unlike jeepneys which have a prescribed route.

This classification, in the same category as golf-carts and pocket bikes, makes it difficult the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to regulate their use as public transport. E-trike franchises and routes have thus far been regulated by local government units.

Mayor Isko Moreno also added that e-trikes should be labeled as “not for public transport” when they roll out from the factory. The mayor will also urge the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to stop promoting and selling electric vehicles until the government has clear guidelines to regulate such machines. The Mayor added that the E-trikes have been taking jeepneys' passengers

Mayor Edwin Olivarez of Paranaque City, echoed Mayor Isko's concerns, saying that there is currently a proliferation of e-trikes and that they are not registered. He also said that the government currently has no clear-cut policies to regulate e-bikes.

The E-trikes now plying Manila were part of former Mayor Joseph Estrada's project to update tricycles in the city to more modern means of transport. Manila E-Trikes are fully-electric, produce zero emissions and seat 7 passengers. They follow a prescribed route with specific stops, and can accept electronic payment and do not operate on a boundary system.

Will this impending ban encourage new legislation to finally regulate e-bikes and e-trikes? Or is this a step back for the proliferation of such electric vehicles?