Wed, Feb 15, 2012 - Page 12 News List

RAC inks deal with Philippines client

FOOT IN THE DOOR:The local electric automaker signed a deal to sell a bus to Victory Liner, the largest bus operator in the Philippines, and hopes it will lead to a joint venture

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Reporters in Taipei yesterday take photos of an all-electric bus made by RAC Electric Vehicles Inc, as the company signed a contract to supply an electric bus to major Philippines bus operator Victory Liner Inc.

Photo: CNA

One newcomer in the burgeoning Taiwanese electric vehicle industry is aiming high — it intends to work with automakers and bus operators in overseas markets, such as the Philippines, Hong Kong and the US, to market its technologies over the next three years.

RAC Electric Vehicles Inc (華德動能科技) is one step closer to achieving its ambition after it signed a deal yesterday to clinch its first client in the Philippines, which purchased an electric bus produced by the company.

RAC hopes its first bus to Victory Liner Inc, the largest operator in the Philippines that runs a fleet of 4,500 coaches, will open the door for a possible joint venture to produce electric vehicles in the Southeast Asian country.

“We plan to export our technologies to Victory Liner, assisting it in establishing production facilities,” RAC president Alex Tsai (蔡易忠) said on the sidelines of a signing ceremony in Taipei witnessed by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang (梁國新).

The company is banking on the Philippines to aggressively deploy “green” vehicles to cut carbon emissions and conserve energy, and its partnership with Victory Liner offers it a great advantage.

Despite Victory Liner having only purchased one electric bus for the time being, Tsai said the bus marks a significant milestone for RAC because government officials, including Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, is expected take a ride on the bus, making it a showcase of what Taiwanese companies could offer in terms of technological advancement.

According to an RAC statement, more projects between RAC and Victory Liner are on the way, such as co-producing electric--powered tricycles and jeepneys in the future.

Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transport in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating.

If the production lines were to come to fruition, they would be able to produce 100 electric buses, 250 remodeled e-buses, 500 e-Jeepneys and 5,000 remodeled e-Jeepneys every year, the statement said.

The estimated production value would hit NT$18 billion (US$609 million) after five years, it said.

In addition to the Philippines, the Taiwanese maker is in talks with a few potential partners in the US and Hong Kong about partnerships, according to Tsai.

RAC was founded in 2005 with vehicle parts maker Mobiletron Electronics Co (車王電子) as one of its major investors.

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