The City Optimized Managed Electric Transport or COMET is the modern version of the traditional Filipino jeepneys plying in the country’s busy roads. Tagged as ‘e-jeep’ or electric jeepney, COMET is expected to replace Philippine’s world-famous jeepneys in hopes of eliminating air and noise pollution.
US President Barack Obama attended COMET’s launch recently as part of his state visit. According to news reports, COMET e-jeep was specifically designed to the needs of Metro Manila. With that in mind, e-jeep’s design and features considered the weather, flooding and the capital’s current road condition.
On the initial plan, these 20-passenger e-jeeps will follow designated terminals where they can pick up and drop off passengers at the same time recharge their lithium ion batteries. COMET e-jeeps use lithium ion batteries compared to other electric vehicles that use lead acid batteries. These batteries get fully charged for five hours and is estimated to travel 80 to 100 kilometers.
Similar to MRT and LRT, passengers who will be riding COMET e-jeeps will be using cards in order to pay their fares. While MRT and LRT are working in introducing a universal ticketing system for their operations, COMET’s plan to use cards as payment may also be a good addition to the proposed unified tickets.
To maintain the spirit of the traditional Filipino jeepneys, COMET e-jeeps may use the same jeepney arts and designs on their vehicle’s outer appearance.
Pasang Masda (Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association Nationwide) will be the first to try e-jeeps. By 2016, a total of 10,000 COMET e-jeeps are expected to replace passenger jeepneys in Metro Manila.
COMET was first introduced by US-based Pangea Motors, LLC and exclusively distributed in the country by Global Electric Transportation (GET). GET is a partnership of both American and Filipino private investors.