GET SET Go!
By Mike Baños
A new North-South joint venture will soon launch a breakthrough electric mobility system which would address two of the most prevalent banes of modern urban areas: traffic congestion and air pollution.
In simple rites held March 22 at the Xavier Sports & Country Club, Global Electric Transport (GET) based in Makati and local partner A Brown Co. Inc. (ABCI) introduced the COMET (Community Optimized Electric Transport ) e-Vehicle to select government officials, local residents, people with disabilities (PWDs) and some transport groups.
An initial 10 COMET units is planned to be deployed by the GET-ABCI JV (operating as a new company Southern Electric Transport, or SET) to service commuters going to and from Uptown Cagayan de Oro as soon as next month.
“This is our small way of going into ESP, our first venture into an Environmentally Sustainability Program (ESP), to help Cagayan de Oro as Cagayan de Oro has helped us,” said Robertino E. Pizarro, ABCI President.” This is our way of giving back and helping the administration’s transport modernization program.”
Environmental sustainability in business offers the opportunity to integrate comprehensive sustainability targets and programs into business strategies and corporate responsibility programs. Every positive action, no matter how small, can be the first step to creating a virtuous cycle of sustainability. Companies that promote environmental sustainability as a corporate citizenship imperative have become leaders in the movement to create a sustainable planet, society, and economy for future generations, he added.
Touted as The First Sustainable Transport Ecosystem in the World, GET President Sigfrido Freddie R. Tiñga said, “Our business model has made GET a significant First Mover in electric mobility as a service (eMaas).”
The COMET e-Vehicle system is anchored on a “World-Class, Zero-Emission, 30-pasenger electric minibus developed by Formula-E racing engineers; a smart app-based fleet management and fare collection system that improves the customer experience, and makes transport more intelligent and efficient; and a fast charger network which allows COMET vehicles to operate on a near 24/7 basis and service clients day and night.” This would enable it to help boost night shift operations for BPOs and call centers as they operate during the “off-peak” hours.
The COMET was developed by QEV Technologies in Barcelona, Spain, a company which operates three distinct business segments: electric racing; full vehicle or powertrain development; and sophisticated ‘off-the-shelf’ kits to electrify new e-minibuses, or convert existing ones to battery power. The Spanish firm designs and manufactures electric drivetrains for various projects in motorsport, as well as electric hypercars and bus platforms.
The knowledge that QEV Tech has gained from motor racing has enabled it to become a technology partner for several car manufacturers that are developing fully electric vehicles. The company sees Extreme E as the ideal testbed for its consumer-oriented projects via the championship’s promise of world-class competition.
“GET creates a complete transport ecosystem that is anchored on community-owned, centrally managed electric mass transport vehicles that provide an affordable, accessible, efficient and sustainable transport solution urgently needed by most of the world’s major cities,” Mr. Tiñga stressed.
To address the most pressing issue of the country’s PUV Modernization Program, GET is negating the acquisition cost issue by partnering with its off-takers, and will also take charge of the operations and maintenance of their COMET e-Vehicles and the construction, operation and upkeep of the charging stations, 4 of which are programmed for Cagayan de Oro for 2023.
“We partnered with EV Dynamics, a specialized EV manufacturer from China from whom we source CBU units which ensure the best electric bus for the use of our clients,” Mr. Tiñga disclosed.
The COMET is proffered as a Budget-Priced Vehicle for Emerging Markets which boasts of a fully airconditioned, fully electric 350V nominal voltage, 70 kph programmable top speed, 54kW CATL Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery that give it a 100 km range but only requires 45 minutes fast charging from 20% to 90%, is community Wi-Fi enabled, GPS tracked and Fleet Managed, has zero emissions, roomy interiors (6.3m L x 2.3m x 2.8m H), 30 passenger capacity, and is so far the only Modern PUV and EV which is PWD accessible.
Even more important, a COMET ecosystem not only addresses traffic congestion and air pollution in urban areas, but is more profitable to operate compared to the traditional jeepney and the Euro 4 Modern PUVs espoused by many vehicle suppliers.
For instance, a COMET e-Vehicle only costs P4.72 per kilometer to operate vs. P12.36 for a traditional jeepney and P21.25 for a Euro 4 Modern PUV. This translates to annual savings of P458,515 vs. traditional jeepney (62% savings, assuming a fuel cost of P68/liter), and 991,697 vs. a Euro 4 Modern PUV (78% savings, assuming a fuel cost of P68/liter).
And even better, a COMET will release zero carbon dioxide to the atmosphere vs approximately 25,085 kgs. of CO2 for a traditional jeepney, and 43,115 kgs. for a Euro 4 Modern PUV.
“We save you money as we save the planet,” Mr. Tiñga stressed. “We make a profit as we make a difference!”
At the Right Place at the Right Time
The national government has prioritized EVs through Republic Act No. 11597 (Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, or EVIDA) which took effect on May 11, 2022, as it aims to provide an enabling environment for the development of EVs as an attractive and feasible mode of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
In relation to this, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has recognized the need to reduce pollution and decongest traffic by promoting the use of fleets of clean, sustainable, comfortable, and efficient electric vehicles integrated with a passenger and fleet management system-providing even more momentum to the smart electric mobility solution that GET is pioneering.
So far, 65 COMET units are now operating in the Philippines over the past three years, which as of 2022 have travelled 1,171,556 clean kilometers; reduced CO2 emissions by 562,346 kgs equivalent to 7,810 trees absorption of CO2.
“Our goal is not just to build a better vehicle,” Mr. Tiñga advocates. “Our mission has always been to help build a better world.”