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Closing the Green Transport Loop in the Philippines through Climate-Friendly Cities and Electric Jeepneys


Guidance on collaborative pilot

This is a pilot test of a new, collaborative approach for getting work done in the Climate CoLab. It will run during March and April of 2012.

Just like in the 2011 activities, anyone can create a proposal. But there is also a community proposal, where members are encouraged to work together in a collaborative way. Any member can contribute to the community proposal as long as they are logged in.

The community proposal is like a wiki, so the history of edits is tracked, and you can revert to prior versions of the proposal if desired.

Please also use the Comments to express your opinion on whether or not you would like to see this collaborative approach used in the Climate CoLab in 2012.

Feel free to organize the proposal as you see fit. One thought—it's good to have a brief summary of the overall proposal at the top, as an aid to readers.

Proposal Text



The Climate-Friendly Cities project transforms the 20th century diesel-fuelled jeepney – the Philippine automotive icon – into the 21st century green transport alternative

Organic waste stream provides electricity to power mass transport systems and move people – sustainable transport

Through anaerobic biodigester technology, the growing problem of waste is addressed – renewable energy!

Facing challenges through creative application, the project utilizes renewable energy generation, solves a developing country’s city’s waste problems, and promotes sustainable transport.  The result: a closed loop of the city’s clean transport powered by its biodegradable waste, leading to a cleaner city, healthy commuters and drivers, more green jobs, innovation, and transformation. 



Category of the action

Reducing emissions from transportation

What actions do you propose?


The Climate-Friendly Cities initiative is a multi-pronged innovative project that introduces an alternative to the diesel-based public transport system in the Philippines called jeepneys using readily-available and simple technologies.  The program will not only reduce air pollution, carbon emissions and the solid waste stream but will also provide enhanced incomes to the drivers of these vehicles while creating new job opportunities for the suppliers to the project.

The project is based on an integrated facility for generating electricity for transport from organic waste. Its components are: a) a fleet of electric jeepneys or ejeepneys, each with a capacity of twenty (20) passengers, b) a depot that will serve as charging station and maintenance center for the fleet, and c) a power plant consisting of a generator, a high solid anaerobic digester and gas engine.

The Jeepney is a unique automotive icon of the Philippines. Built initially on the chassis and engine of a World War II US Army Jeep, it has since evolved into an elaborately decorated vehicle, functioning as a small bus, but designed with passengers seated facing each other on two parallel benches built into the hull. Jeepneys are the primary mode of public transportation for smaller cities and for the narrower road systems of larger cities. Jeepneys currently burn fuel inefficiently because they run on old diesel engines, are made of heavy gauge steel, and carry payloads in excess of their design capacities.  For this reason, they are a major source of air pollution and carbon emissions.

An electric version of the Philippine jeepney was launched in 2007 with the aim of providing an alternative and sustainable transport solution.  The initiative has since produced historic milestones such as the country's first domestically manufactured ejeepney (2008), the first public routes dedicated to electric transport called the Green Routes in Makati City (2009), electric vehicle charging station (2009) and battery-swapping program (2011), the first official registration papers for electric jeepneys (2009), and the first commercial fleet operations franchise granted to electric vehicle operators (2012).

The ejeepney can run for up to 100 kilometers on a single charge, and is charged over a period of 8 to 10 hours. This would normally cover the requirements of the routes.  The fleet operations are planned in such a way to ensure that the maximum number of eJeepneys will be available during peak travel hours. At the end of each day or as required, the eJeepneys are driven to the depot for charging repairs and maintenance. The current fleet is presently located in 2 sites in Metro Manila, Philippines, the first of which is in the business district of the country’s financial center Makati City and the other in Quezon City.

The bulk of the power for charging the ejeepneys will be supplied by biogas from an anaerobic digester facility that will biologically break down organic waste from the wet markets (fresh food markets common in Asian cities) and commercial food establishments of the host cities.  The power produced will be used to charge batteries of the ejeepney continuously.

Who will take these actions?


The proponent is Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), a Philippine-based non-government, non-profit organization working on sustainable energy solutions and fair climate policy.  The project shall be implemented in partnership with local city governments, transport organizations composed of operators and drivers of conventional jeepneys, and technology providers.

 iCSC’s beginnings date back to 1998 as an initiative borne out of a campaign to reject a coal-fired power plant project in one of the Philippine provinces and establish it as a province whose development would be powered by renewable energy.  The organization was registered in 2005 at the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission.

iCSC is the proponent of the pioneering Climate Friendly Cities – an innovative Philippine program that connects sustainable transport solutions with efficient clean energy generation.  The electric jeepneys or ejeepneys launched in 2007 is the central part of the Climate Friendly Cities initiative. iCSC currently operates the only all-electric public transport fleet in the Philippines.

iCSC also works on fair climate policy, with its agenda focused on climate adaptation finance and low carbon development, pioneering long-term policy transformation and sustainable social enterprise. iCSC was the organizational lead in crafting and passing the recently enacted People's Survival Fund law or PSF in both the upper and lower chambers of Congress.  The PSF is the country's first legislated direct access-based climate finance mechanism. iCSC catalyzed broad-based legislative and executive support that led to the timely passage of the PSF, which is dedicated to supporting the adaptation programs of local governments and communities.

iCSC is also a significant voice in the international climate finance debate, with over four decades of combined experience and expertise in the climate negotiations and national climate policy development present in the organization's Board.

Where will these actions be taken?


Starting with the cities in Metro Manila, Philippines where ejeepneys are already in operation – Makati and Quezon cities – the project can be expanded and replicated in other cities and towns in the Philippines.

The Philippines in Southeast Asia is a country that is consistently in many top 15 lists, such as German Watch's Global Climate Risk Index,  for the most vulnerable countries in the world due to climate change due to the extreme weather events (1).  It was declared as the 4th most vulnerable country to climate change over the past two decades (2).

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


Jeepneys, taxis and public utility vans comprise 13% of the estimated 7 million vehicles in the Philippines (3). Being diesel-based, jeepneys are one of the most inefficient and polluting public utility vehicles (PUVs). Aside from nitrous oxides, jeepneys also contribute significantly to particulate matter, carbon monoxide and soot emissions. 

Studies have shown that the levels of particulate matter and nitrous oxides emitted from diesel-fed vehicles cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the health costs of which according to a World Bank (4) study in 2001 amount to at least USD 392 million in a single year.  The replacement of jeepneys with their electric counterparts reduces 3140 grams of carbon dioxide and 16 grams of nitrous oxides per liter of avoided diesel. These reductions would increase multiple-fold when renewable energy will be the sole energy source for charging the ejeepneys, as is one of the components of the Climate Friendly Cities initiative.

What are other key benefits?


The project delivers economic benefits to its partners – jeepney drivers currently earning low wages and cities burdened by increased waste and management costs.  Savings from fuel costs made from the switch from diesel to electricity are passed on to the jeepney drivers by way of increased income.

The project also contributes to green economy growth in the country with opportunities for the domestic vehicle industry to engage in the manufacture of locally-produced electric vehicles and their parts. 

In the matter of replicability, the problems, objectives and resources of the pilot areas are similar to most cities in the developing world. Should the project prove successful, other cities in the Philippines and other countries can adopt its approach of addressing their environmental problems using available low carbon technologies thereby creating a new advocacy in support of climate change mitigation.

What are the proposal’s costs?


The project components and their associated costs are as follows:

Jeepney Fleet                                                              USD 480,000

Depot                                                                                   100,000

Power Plant                                                                          150,000

Pre-Operating Expenses                                                        50,000

Development Costs                                                                20,000

Total                                                                           USD 800,000


Fuel Savings

Fuel savings alone from the switch of diesel to electric is significant.  Well-maintained diesel jeepneys consume an estimated 7.5 km per liter of diesel (5).  For routes averaging 120 kilometers a day and diesel prices at Php 43 per liter, fuel costs per day would amount to Php 688 or USD 15.90.  Ejeepneys consume an average of 11.6 kWh of electricity per full charging which would allow them to run for an average of 120 km as well. At the present rate of Php 11.80 per kWh, the cost of a single full charge is Php 136.88 or USD 3.16.

Time line


The project will be built out in stages according to its components. The fleet of ejeepneys takes 3 months for manufacture.  The construction of the biogas digester and power plant is expected to be completed in a span of 9 months, and the charging station can be built simultaneously which takes 3 months to complete.

Related proposals


(1) Global Climate Risk Index 2013 (2012). Germanwatch,

(2) Abano, Imelda. "Philippines 4th most vulnerable to climate change over past 20 years, 5th in 2011." 28 November 2012

(3) Land Transportation Office (2012). Annual Report 2012,

(4) Philippine Environment Monitor (2006). The World Bank,

(5) D0ctrine. "CLRV: Another look at the LPG Jeepney.", 1 November 2012. Web 19 July 2013.