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VECO’s ‘e-van’ touts greener, cheaper transport alternative

Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (VECO) is raising local awareness on the environmental and cost benefits of electric transportation with the creation of its first environmentally friendly van (e-van).

Powered by 15 deep-cycle batteries, it will take about seven hours to fully charge the e-van. “If you go low on battery power, you just plug it,” says VECO mechanic Tomas Ernesto Gonzales, who assembled the e-van.

Running the e-van is 25% cheaper than using the gasoline-run vehicle. On the average, gasoline costs about P40 per liter, while electricity is only around P11 per kilowatt.

“The e-van is very good to use not only because it is ozone layer-friendly but there is also no sound when it runs since no fuel combustion is involved,” said Tomas Ernesto Gonzales, the VECO mechanic who assembled the e-van. The vehicle is also very low-maintenance as it mostly entails just checking the water for the batteries, he added.

The van has been going around Cebu’s city streets almost every day and the fastest it has gone during testing was 100 km per hour. With one full charge, it can run for about 40 km or around two hours of smooth driving.

Aside from the e-van, VECO also uses solar energy to power its main office in Banilad on weekends and to augment power supply on weekdays.