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ADB Loan to Finance E-trikes in Philippines

From VOA Learning English, this is Technology, in Special English. The Asian Development Bank has approved a $300 million loan to help finance an electric vehicle program in the Philippines. The goal is to reduce pollution. The money will help pay for tricycles powered by electricity, or e-trikes.

The Philippines wants to have 100,000 of the vehicles on the road by 2017. E-trike driver Alfredo Forelo says the battery can operate for five or six hours. He paid one dollar and 25 cents to charge the battery. He says, in the past, he spent as much as four dollars a day on fuel for a gasoline-powered tricycle.

Tricycle drivers usually pay about four dollars a day to rent their vehicles from operators. Alfredo Forelo says he earns about $17 a day from driving an e-trike after costs. That is more than double the average daily earning of someone driving a gas-powered tricycle. The e-trike can carry as many as eight passengers. The vehicle has a roof that protects passengers from the sun and rain.

The city of Mandaluyong chose Alfredo Forelo to help with a demonstration program of 20 e-trikes. The director of the city's Tricycle Regulation Office says the Asian Development Bank chose Mandaluyong because of its desire to keep the air clean. He says the city will offer a rent-to-own program for the e-trikes. The electronic vehicles cost about $5,000. Traditional motorcycles cost about $3,000. There have been bumps in the road however. Seven of the city's 20 e-trikes already need repair, and waiting for parts is slowing down the program. Bank and city officials have now learned that manufacturers must fully guarantee their parts.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.