IN an apparent effort to promote sustainable mobility, the Department of Energy (DOE) hinted at a program that would allow employees to rent the government-owned electric bicycles in going to and from work.
In a department circular issued recently, the DOE called on its employees wishing to take electric bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation to undergo training before renting the two-wheel vehicles deployed by the agency.
According to the DOE, interested employees would be required to seek approval from the DOE’s E-Bike Program team, and complete a pre-orientation seminar and face-to-face training sessions.
Registration needs to be renewed quarterly, and the vehicles may only be used for two weeks a month to allow other qualified users to participate in the program, according to the agency.
Training sessions will be facilitated by e-bike program instructors, including e-bike shop technicians, experienced cyclists or “by someone with extensive knowledge and experience with e-bikes.”
Existing e-bike users may also be tapped as instructors, as approved by the DOE e-bike team.
“The DOE is committed to working with the initiatives in the promotion and monitoring to accelerate the penetration of energy-efficient technologies to address the growing popularity of alternative mobility choices,” the DOE said in its circular.
However, a spotty driving record may prevent a DOE employee from qualifying for the program, as these will also be monitored by the program team.
The DOE e-bike team, led by the Energy Utilization Management Bureau, is also tasked with preparing and implementing related policies, including the user manual of an e-bike.
An online booking system for the use of an e-bike will also be available for interested motorists.
The e-bikes must also be returned to the DOE compound in Taguig City once registration expires to ensure that these are recharged and kept safe for the next users.
The DOE likewise said regular inspections, battery maintenance, cleaning, parts replacement and servicing would be conducted.
Data from the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) show that as of this year, there are more than 16,000 electric vehicle (EV) units in the country.
In the first quarter of 2023 alone, EV sales grew to 2,536 units, or nearly six times the sales recorded in the same period last year, EVAP said.
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