Story & Photos by Patrick P. Tulfo
THE Solar Transport Automotive Resources (Star) Corp., the exclusive distributor of BYD cars in the country, is poised to take the auto industry by storm, at least at the largely untapped hybrid sector. The company unveiled their lineup of hybrid and electric-powered vehicles recently including the powerful and elegant Tang sport-utility vehicle that will obviously lead the charge in company’s quest to offer superior alternatives in the hybrid sector, which got a shot in the arm with the passage of the TRAIN law, as it effectively lowers the price of the Tang from a high of P6 million to just P3 million.
The E6, on the other hand, is a pure electric MPV that only needs 2.5 hours of charging and is said to be capable of running up to 300 kilometers before needing a charge.
The plug-in electric forklift introduced last year is currently the most advance forklift in the country today. Powered by the same lithium iron phosphate battery, that also powers its stablemates, it is designed to last for up to 4,000 cycles of charging or ten years before needing replacement. It is also 50-percent cost efficient compared to its lead acid counterpart and not to mention environment-friendly.
Meanwhile, two modern looking electric buses, which are already in operation in other countries, were also on display. These BYD buses also deliver excellent mileage before needing a charge and most importantly zero emission to lessen the worsening pollution problem in the country. However, the BYD electric bus will be distributed by Columbian Motors Corp.
Mark Tieng, Star Corp. managing director conveyed his excitement to all the guests by saying, “Since BYD’s inception in the Philippines, we have been preparing for the day that the Philippines will be ready for electric cars. That day is today. When we started in the Philippines, we launched our E6 and became the first to bring in an electric vehicle [EV] in the Philippines. We worked with the government and various stakeholders and shared with them the astounding benefits of electric vehicles not only to the environment but also to the economy and its owners. Today, with the TRAIN law the leadership in the Philippine government recognized the benefits of electric cars and granted zero excise taxes for electric cars.”
He added,” we move ahead into changing the game in transportation, guided by our mission to be the leading mobility solutions provider, built on excellence and technological innovations, committed to environmental sustainability and delivering the brand ownership experience by a team of passionate individuals.”
Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division through an interpreter mentioned the deteriorating air quality in the country especially in Metro Manila and the P31,000,000,000 revenue it loses everyday due to traffic.
Liu said “BYD is not only a one-product company because it is supplying all over the world all kinds of transportation solutions.” He added, “if the buses here in the Philippines can run up to 200 kms. Our buses at BYD can run until 10 million kms. These buses will start serving the Filipinos soon. We have chosen the Philippines to promote this multi-layered transportation because we have seen that the country will benefit from it.”
Also present at the venue were governors of provinces of Bataan and Iloilo, who announced that they have partnered with BYD in developing their own Skyrail systems to benefit their constituents.
One of the excerpts in Tieng’s speech that stuck in this writer’s mind was when he said, “the engine will be no match for to the electric vehicle technology. 4,000 moving parts versus one. It excites me to see the day when electric vehicles can occupy a portion of the nation’s highways and roadways and a future when green car space is the norm rather than the exception.”
The event was culminated with the traditional toast led by Xueliang amid the showers of confetti. With BYD vehicles and transportation solutions, the future is truly electric.