These Amphibious Electric Vehicles are the Unheralded Stars of the PHEV Summit
If you’ll be dropping by the 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit today–which is actually on its last day–you’ll want to check out these two vehicles from Star 8 Green, an international company with a local office in Las Piñas that offers both electric vehicle and lighting products with an emphasis on solar power. Why? Because they’re amphibious electric vehicles.
One of the most-asked questions whenever an electric vehicle is being discussed in the local setting is how it will fare when it comes to floods. After all, it only takes 15 to 30 minutes of heavy rainfall to flood some parts of the metropolis already. Well, it seems Star 8 Green has come up with not just one, but two solutions with its amphibious bus and tricycle.
These amphibious electric vehicles are based on two of Star 8 Green’s current products: the 23-seater Solar E-Jeepney and the six-seater Luxury Trike. Both vehicles use 12-volt lead acid batteries, with 12 being used in the former and six for the latter, although a 72-volt lithium ion battery is available as an option. Power is supplied through solar panels installed on the roofs. On a full charge, the amphibious jeepney has a range of up to 150 kilometers (120 km if the air-conditioning system is used) while its trike counterpart can go on up to 150 km as well on its lead acid batteries (200 km with lithium ion ones).
More important though is that the vehicles have supposedly been tested by fording rivers in the Bicol region, one Star 8 Green official confided to CARMUDI PHILIPPINES. Pushing the e-jeepney through the water are shrouded twin screws–or that’s what it looks like, at least–that slightly jut out of what could be called the rear bumper. The doors of both vehicles are also raised higher off the ground than usual to prevent water from getting inside the vehicle, which is important because that’s where its batteries are located–underneath the floor inside the cabin.
While Star 8 Green is relatively new to the local electric vehicle industry, it is one of the first to comply with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) by deploying 45 of its solar-powered jeepneys to cover the Tacloban-Palanog route and improve accessibility to resettlement sites occupied by thousands of residents displaced by super-typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Though the DOTr launched the program in Tacloban in January 2018, Star 8 Green’s e-jeepneys have reportedly been operational and playing the route since December 2017.