First Gen Corporation has launched an integrated electric vehicle (EV) pilot project whose novel charging station gets its supply of electricity from a clean energy source.
For use initially in and around its Clean Energy Complex, the “GreenWheels” project supports the company’s objective of reducing its carbon emissions.
Under the “GreenWheels” project, First Gen developed a fast EV charging station, which can accommodate multiple EVs, inside the complex in Batangas City. For the test vehicle, First Gen has acquired a Nissan LEAF, one of the first passenger EVs to hit the Philippine market.
“EVs do not spew carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, and these vehicles’ increasing popularity now expands their role in reducing emissions from the transport sector. By utilizing a solar-powered charging station, even the power used to charge the EVs becomes clean. This further optimizes and enhances the role of EVs in cutting down carbon dioxide emissions and mitigating climate change,” First Gen president and COO Giles Puno said.
Based on calculations, the Nissan LEAF, if driven for an average of 50 kilometers (kms.) a day, can avoid the emission of nearly three tons of carbon dioxide a year compared to a similar vehicle that runs on fossil fuels. The same calculations showed the Nissan LEAF has a range of up to 311 kms. on one full charge.
Fast charging station
What sets the “GreenWheels” project apart is its charging station that is not only fast, but is also powered by solar energy. This charging station can give an EV unit’s battery an 80% charge in as fast as 40 minutes or a mere fraction of the 18 hours needed by a regular home charger.
Ordinary motor vehicles running on gasoline or diesel fossil fuel emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide, which has been identified in various studies as the main culprit behind adverse climate change. In addition, they are largely affected by oil price hikes. EVs, on the other hand, do not need fuels like diesel or gasoline.
Nissan Philippines has welcomed this move by First Gen and other subsidiaries of the Lopez Group. As part of its own efforts to join the cause to end climate change, Nissan Philippines in January launched its “Blue Switch” program that promotes the use of EV technologies to address social concerns.
“The ‘Blue Switch’ initiative allows Nissan to establish partnerships with various stakeholders, so we can work together to power mobility and beyond for a cleaner, safer and more inclusive world,” Nissan Philippines president and managing director Atsushi Najima said.
He added: “The recent launch of our ‘Blue Switch’ global initiative in the Philippines proves our commitment to this goal. We welcome First Gen as they take their first steps to achieve carbon neutrality with their ‘GreenWheels’ project and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with them under the ‘Blue Switch’ program.”
Puno also disclosed that “First Gen and other Lopez Group companies recognize that eliminating the source of massive carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector is crucial in the campaign to mitigate climate change.
“As part, therefore, of our mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, we are pilot-testing the ‘GreenWheels’ project to understand its potential in reducing our carbon footprint and evaluate the feasibility later of developing it.” (Story/Photos by: Joel Gaborni)