During last week's opening of the 2015 National Science and Technology Week at SMX Convention in Pasay City, DOST did some test drives on its newest transportation solution vehicle which they call the Hybrid Electric Road Train.
The event was led by Secretary of Science and Technology Mario Montejo and was joined by Secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas.
“The DOST road train is actually a hybrid of sorts: Just like a train, it has a total of five coaches, is 40 meters long and can accommodate up to 240 passengers. But like buses, the road train moves on wheels,” said Christian Ibañez, a science research specialist at the MIRDC-DOST.The Road Train is brainchild of Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology or MIRDC-DOST which took three years to program, develop and to build and some Php45 million in expenses. The vehicle seeks to provide solution to the on going problematic transportation experience in the Metro Manila. And most of all, it sports all Filipino-made materials and environment-friendly features.
“Just like Metro Manila’s Light Rail Transit trains, the road train is driven by electric motors. They draw power not from an electric overhead cable but from 260 interconnected lead-acid batteries constantly charged via regenerative braking and by a generator that converts the energy produced by a small conventional diesel engine,” Ibañez said.Even though the unveiled Hybrid Electric Road Train is just a prototype version, Secretary Mar Roxas revealed that when he had conversation with Mr Montejo, they discussed a possibility of deploying the Road Train on major roads in the country like EDSA, Roxas Boulevard, Taft and Quezon Boulevard. If this vehicle officially hits the Philippine road, with its 5-coach-and-240-passenger-capacity feature, can accommodate up to 650,000 commuters a day.
Mr. Christian Ibanez said that maintenance of the Road Train would not be a problem since all of its parts were developed and sourced locally that even common mechanics and engineers can fix them without the need to get parts abroad. He also added that for companies that would like to acquire the Hybrid Train would just need to obtain the patents from DOST.