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Hybrid Electric Road Train, e-Train

A greener alternative to transportation in the Philippines is set to take another step closer to full operations. This October, the environment-friendly Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) will make its way to General Santos City.

Road runner

Filipino engineers from the Department of Science and Technology’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) built and developed HERT.

The road train is 40 meters long, and can hold up to 240 passengers per trip. HERT has 5 interlinked air-conditioned coaches. Due to the fact that it runs on roads and not tracks, the e-train’s top speed is 50 kph.

It runs via battery consoles and diesel fuel, instead of relying solely on the latter. In addition to addressing environmental concerns, the road train may also solve traffic congestion on the country’s major roads.

Last February, HERT had its trial run in Cebu City, accompanied by a mini mobile car from the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO). Authorities conduct these trials to ensure the road train’s compliance with safety and quality standards.

The long road to greener transportation

For this trial run, DOST-MIRDC partnered up with the DOST regional office and the General Santos City government.

In a statement, DOST Regional Director Dr. Zenaida Hadji Raof Laidan said:

“As part of the preparation of its implementation in General Santos City, DOST-MIRDC [will conduct a]  series of route assessment[s] and ocular inspection[s] to ensure [the] viability of […] the road train [on the] main roads of the city.”

For the trial, the road train will depart from Barangay Katangawan, passing through the Lagao Public Market, the national highway, and the city’s circumferential road going to the Gensan Fish Port.

“Aside from serving [a large] number of daily commuters around the city, the Hybrid Electric Road Train (ERT) also advocates a greener use of technology[,] as it is powered by electric batteries instead of solely diesel fuel[, reducing its] carbon emission.”

Adopting the road train after its test run could help ease the burden of General Santos City commuters. If the trial becomes successful, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña is open to donating HERT to the city. –MF

Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco

Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.