What you need to know: MMDA’s solar charging station for e-bikes, e-scooters

June 23, 2022 - 2:40 PM
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E-scooter
The government is now hosting charging stations for e-mobiles such as scooters and bikes. But Filipinos online have raised issues about and around the plan. (Javy Go via Unsplash)

With the ongoing increase in petrol prices, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to open to the public its free solar charging station for e-bicycles and e-scooters on Monday, June 27.

Where it is: The solar charging station, located at the new MMDA head office at Barangay Ugong, Pasig City, will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What is it for? The project aims to encourage commuters to use other alternative modes of transportation as fuel costs increase.

“Putting up free charging stations for [electric] vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters would encourage the public to use alternative [modes] of transportation and at the same time help them save expenses from high fuel costs,” MMDA Chairperson Romando Artes said.

He added that introducing electric vehicles would enable the promotion of green and renewable energy as the country is facing worsening calamity disasters due to global warming.

How it works: The station will have six 220V charging outlets supported by three solar panels with built-in inverters as main source of power.

How to use it: Cyclists who wish to charge their e-bikes and e-scooters are expected to bring their own charging cords and cables.

The MMDA also advised them that the approximate charging time will range from six hours to eight hours, depending on the power capacity of their unit.

In case the harvested solar power is insufficient to charge the e-bike, the station will connect to the building’s main power grid to compensate for the power shortage. The excess electricity being gathered by the solar panels will be distributed back to the building.

What’s next: The MMDA plans to build another charging station at the MMDA headquarters in Orense, Makati to accommodate e-bikes and e-scooter riders passing over EDSA.

Issues

Social media users raised several concerns about and expressed reactions to the charging station project.

The registration of e-bikes was brought up, while Artes appealed to the public to adhere to the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) guidelines on the classification, registration and operation of electric transportation for their own safety.

Others, however, found the registration as red tape against people’s mobility.

“Eh di ba nga gustong iparehistro ang mga yan ng LTO kasi gusto nila tayong lahat na mahirapan?” one tweeted.

Under the LTO order, e-scooters and e-bikes are only allowed to travel on designated bicycle lanes and barangay or community roads. They must also give right of way to incoming traffic.

The charging stations are also not free to use. The project should also be fully funded and provided by the government to promote individual mobility, many suggested.

“Insert coin meaning may bayad pala hindi libre,” a Twitter user said.

There are also suggestions on ease of use.

“The queuing should be orderly and systematic. Sa mga panahon na ganito, madaming maiinit ang ulo!” one Twitter user suggested.

While there is only one charging station so far, social media users want to see more of such.

“Sana naman po every city and barangay maglagay ng ganito para ma encourage ang gumamit ng ebike para ma lessen ang dependence natin sa oil. Malaking tulong ang solar power station na ito,” one said.

A Twitter user also expressed appreciation for the project, saying it is “a real public service.” But they added that government should do something about the skyrocketing oil and petroleum costs.

“It’s good to see gov’t agencies are now doing real “public service”. Hope more will follow, paging DTI! Every week tumataas ang mga presyo ng mga goods. P5.00 at the minimum. Don’t say there’s nothing you can do. Regulate them,” they said.