First Gen launches EV project

Mar 24, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led First Gen Corp. has launched an integrated electric vehicle (EV) project to further reduce the company’s carbon emissions. 

Called the “GreenWheels Project,” First Gen’s pilot EV project is for use in and around its Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City.

Under the project, the company developed a fast EV charging station that can accommodate multiple EVs and gets its supply of electricity from a clean energy source.

First Gen said the charging station is not only fast, but is also powered by solar energy, giving an EV unit’s battery an 80-percent charge in as fast as 40 minutes or a mere fraction of the 18 hours needed by a regular home charger.

For the test vehicle, First Gen acquired a Nissan LEAF, one of the first passenger EVs to hit the Philippine market.

Based on calculations, the Nissan LEAF, if driven for an average of 50 kilometers a day, can avoid the emission of nearly three tons of CO2 a year compared to a similar vehicle that runs on fossil fuel. The same calculations showed the Nissan LEAF has a range of up to 311 kilometers in one full charge.

If the pilot-testing proves a viable model for reducing CO2 emissions, First Gen will replicate and expand in other company sites the use of the infrastructure, First Gen president Francis Giles Puno said.

“First Gen and other Lopez Group companies recognize that eliminating the source of massive CO2 emissions in the transport sector is crucial in the campaign to mitigate climate change,” he said.

“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,” the company official said.

As part of its own efforts to join the cause to end climate change, Nissan Philippines launched in January its Blue Switch initiative, a 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.

“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,” he said.

First Gen said various studies have identified ordinary motor vehicles running on gasoline or diesel fossil fuel – which emit massive amounts of CO2 – as the main culprit behind adverse climate change and all the destructive weather patterns it churns up, such as super typhoons, floods and droughts.

In addition to this, ordinary motor vehicles are largely affected by oil price hikes, which are experienced nowadays.

EVs, on the other hand, do not need fuels like diesel or gasoline, running only on electricity, helping mitigate such concerns.