PASIG CITY, MANILA, Philippines, 21 January 2015 —— H2O Technologies Inc. (a privately owned and operated Philippines company) surprised many by launching the first ever amphibious tricycle fittingly named the Salamander, at the Capitol Commons Center in Pasig City.
The Salamander is the product of almost five year’s work that the team at H2O Technologies have been working on in amongst numerous other projects to come into market later this year. The company’s Chief Engineer – Lamberto Armada spoke openly about the decisions they made as a Team to arrive at the final product and also why the Salamander was being launched with both a fuel IC based version and an electric version.
Armada stated that the new wave of electric vehicle technology was still in its infancy saying “electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support these vehicles is still in its early stages. Years from now there will be charging stations situated throughout the urban areas but right now, people will have to resort to other methods instead. That’s why we created the fuel IC based version as well to ensure that we were able to bring our innovation to the people who need it today.”
Armada went on further to say, “the Salamander will help us to overcome the challenges we have today during rainy season with flooding; but also be ready as the market shifts to more sustainable and ecofriendly electric vehicles in the near future.”
In a country where over half of the 42,000 Barangays are prone to flooding, the Salamander would fit well into the Philippines landscape requirements.
“This is why we created the Salamander,” said David Ong – Chairman of the Board for H2O Technologies.
He went on further to say, “when you look at what the country needs in order to begin resuscitating and rebuilding the drainage and infrastructure, it will take a lot of money and a considerable amount of time. We know it will happen eventually but in the meantime, the country needs a way to continue operating. That’s why the Salamander provides the perfect alternative which will work today but also work tomorrow when the infrastructure issues have been resolved. The Salamander will carry a total of five passengers excluding the driver on both land and on water. Therefore, in a Barangay which may simply be waiting for floodwaters to subside, the Salamander would be perfect to allow workers to get back to their normal modes of transportation and make their way back to work.”
The Salamander uses a patented solution held by H2O Technologies that allows the vehicle to use the same engine that seamlessly switches from land to water travel as required by the driver. It can reach speeds on land of up to 80km per hour and 6 knots in water fully burdened with driver and five passengers. But the Salamander also has some other tricks up its sleeve with a hull that has been designed to withstand a certain amount of damage and still maintain buoyancy & stability for water travel. And furthermore, the body’s unique tricycle design (notably a nod to the tricycles commonly used throughout the Philippines today) was designed by Atoy Llave – a name commonly associated with customised vehicles and the growing sport of car drifting.
Atoy Llave shared with us that, “as a member of the Board and co-founder of H2O Technologies, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to contribute to the design of this great landmark in Filipino innovation. So our team worked hard to ensure that we delivered some great style without compromising on structural requirements.”
The launch was a significant milestone for this private Philippines-based company and was something of a debut for the team as they launched the first of many significant innovations to come from the H2O Technologies Research and Development team over the coming 18 months.
The Founder & Managing Director – Dominic Chung – shared his excitement about the launch with us saying, “the team we have is an all Filipino team and our R&D facility is based in an undisclosed location in Metro Manila and we’re taking the simplest of resources – water – and doing things with it that will help our country move forward.”
Chung was not afraid to talk about one of their latest innovations which is the gasless “gas cooker” that runs on water and how this will change the world. And when asked about the challenges, he did not hesitate to answer the hard questions on partnerships and where he was taking the company stating that, “H2O Technologies has tried to stay under the radar for as long as possible so as to avoid the distraction of investor requirements. But while we have multiple interested parties wanting to invest, we have delayed our decision because we want a partner and not just an investor. We are clear on our core competency of controlled innovation and so we also know that manufacturing en masse is not something we are equipped for”.
The launch of the Salamander highlights an exciting time for the Philippines on many fronts but none more so than that of knowing that the inventive, creative and innovative Filipino spirit is alive and well. And it’s great to see that with more ambassadors like H2O Technologies stepping up and showing that “Filipino Made” can foot it with the best – I’m certain that the collective future of Filipino innovation and engineering innovation is in great hands.
[Source : H2O Technologies/AutoIndustriya]