Indian e-vehicle company eyes replacing aging PH jeepneys

An Indian electric vehicle (e-vehicle) manufacturer is in the process of setting up sales operations in the country in hopes of capturing a stake in the mass transportation market.

Urban Sphere, which is headquartered in the city of Bengaluru, has been lured here by the Philippine government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), according to its top executive.

In an exchange of messages on Friday, Karthik Athreya, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, said they will invest PHP50 million to PHP100 million in setting up its Philippine sales office and car showroom.

The firm will primarily be promoting its Ivoryline 9m electric bus, which it will offer to the local transport sector as a replacement to aging public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

Athreya said the “mini bus” has a seating capacity of 22 persons, excluding the driver, but can accommodate 12 more persons who are standing up.

“Our goal is to contribute to the nation’s endeavors to reduce carbon emissions and cultivate environmentally friendly cities. We are confident in our ability to revolutionize the public transportation sector and enhance quality of life by offering a comprehensive solution suite,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

He said Urban Sphere stands behind its competitively priced vehicles, which come equipped with charging stations and advanced tracking features.

However, Athreya did not mention what the unit price of its Ivoryline 9m is likely to be.

Urban Sphere is currently participating in the APV (Auto Parts & Vehicles) Expo 2024 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City from June 5 to 7 in an effort to generate interest from the local transport sector.

In recent years, trade in technological goods between India and the Philippines have increased amid aligned maritime interests.

In April, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) took delivery of the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles from India. (PNA)

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