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Jeepney legacy continues: Elmer Francisco joins forces with Nasdaq-listed firm to electrify iconic vehicles

The scion of the famous jeepney makers of Las Pinas, Elmer Francisco, has signed a definitive joint venture agreement with a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed VivoPower International PLC to develop and supply electric utility vehicle electrification kits.

VivoPower’s subsidiary, Tembo E-LV BV, will be supplying the electrification kits for Elmer Francisco Motor Corporation’s (eFMC) new generation of electric jeepneys.

According to VivoPower, eFMC and Tembo have already secured their first orders and have started work to fulfill the deliveries and prepare for the electrification of an additional 37,000 jeepneys in the immediate pipeline.

Tembo’s technical team, composed of engineers from companies such as Tesla, Rivian, and Toyota, impressed Francisco

“We are absolutely delighted to have signed this landmark deal with Tembo. We have had multiple approaches from various OEMs and electrification partners around the world, but the VivoPower and Tembo team stood out for their genuine commitment to a purpose beyond solely the profit motive,” eFMC Chairman Elmer Francisco said. “Given the importance of the jeepney sector to the Philippines, the climate, the livelihoods of so many drivers, and the health and well-being of so many Filipinos, we wanted to be very careful and selective of who we partnered with for this iconic mission.”

“We are honored to have signed this exclusive definitive agreement with Francisco Motor Corporation to electrify the jeepneys, a much-loved cultural icon in the Philippines,” VivoPower Executive Chairman and CEO Kevin Chin said. “Francisco Motors are the original pioneers of the jeepney, launching in 1947 post the ending of World War II. We stand in solidarity with Elmer Francisco, Chairman of Francisco Motors, in our shared mission to electrify and rejuvenate the jeepney in a manner that preserves the original design and look, as well as importantly improves the livelihood of the people employed by the jeepney industry.”

Jeepneys account for over 40% of public transportation and over 90% of the jeepneys on the road are 15 years or older and run on second hand diesel engines. In 2017, the Philippine government required the replacement of public utility vehicles that are 15 years or older with more energy efficient and environment-friendly units such as the Euro 4-compliant or electric engine vehicles, creating a $10-billion market.

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