The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has created an eco-friendly way for commute with the Hybrid Electric Train.

The first Filipino-built train is designed for commuters who take the daily stretch from the city to the province.

The Hybrid Electric Train will be stationed on the Philippine National Railway (PNR), stretching from Metro Manila to the province of Laguna.

Five years in the making

Conceptualization for the train started in 2012 according to DOST engineering team head Paolo Acuin.

In 2013, DOST’s engineering team came up with the design of the Hybrid Electric Train. The train features  diesel-powered generator, an electric motor, a bank of electrical batteries, and regenerative braking technology.

DOST then teamed up with Fil-Asia Automotive and Industries Corp to produce the train. Parts such as  the motor, chassis, engine, motor, axle, and wheels were all imported from abroad.

The train uses Toyota Prius’s eco-friendly technology. Kinetic energy from braking is converted to electricity and stored in 260 lead-acid batteries. The stored energy then propels the train, as well as powers its automatic doors, air-conditioning and  CCTV security system.

The energy-efficient and environment-friendly locomotive can accommodate 880 passengers maximum.

Cost-efficient

DOST spent five years to building the Hybrid Electric Train. The train underwent rigorous testing, and according to its engineers, is safe and reliable compared to the trains they import abroad.

The eco-friendly electric train cost only 120 million Philippine Pesos (2.3 Million US Dollars) to develop. The price is cheap compared to the 2.37 billion Philippine Pesos (47.4 million US Dollars) trains the department imports from Indonesia.

PNR has a total of 15 trains for day-to-day operations. Only six to seven are fully functioning while five  currently under maintenance.

Other projects

DOST also has a bus version called the hybrid electric road train, which will start to run in the province of Pampanga next month. Officials will test the road train in the province first to see if it is viable transport alternative in the city’s major roadways.

The 40-meter long bus is seen as a possible answer to the mass transportation problem that is reaching crisis levels, especially in Metro Manila. Unlike the Hybrid Electric Train, the road train was made using locally available parts.

Around 650,000 commuters are going to benefit from the road train, according to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. The long-bodied commuter’s bus will go through a long and tedious process of testing before implementation.

A period of two to three years before it can be declared safe for the riding public. Tests may not last long if no major design changes are found to be necessary according to ERT project leader Rio Pagtalunan,

Hybrid Electric capacity

The Hybrid Electric train focuses on efficiency, which is why it does not need suspended cables, nor electricity to operate.

As for the road trains, the buses can run with a maximum speed of 50 kph. It is mainly powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery.

“This newest Filipino innovation also produces less smoke emission compared with existing mass transport vehicles, making it an eco-friendly mode of transport,” – Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

Innovative ideas

Aside from hybrid electric trains, DOST also looks to develop an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) system inside schools. The department is pursuing an ambitious project to develop one inside the University of the Philippines campus, as well as their central office complex in Bicutan, Taguig City.

A huge upgrade in this age of in-campus electronic scooters and electronic bikes right?