New Francisco Motors Harabas ready to make a grand comeback as an EV

The “Harabas” was once a mainstay on Philippine roads. Roughly translated as an everyday carrier – or workhorse, if you will – it was the Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) that dominated locally. Visionary, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Elmer Francisco of Francisco Motors has quietly been at work, and yes, he is “rebuilding” the fabled AUV for a comeback. This time, as an electric vehicle.

Electrified Harabas to be brought back by Francisco Motors

Fmc Francisco Motors Harabas Ev Inline 04 Min

Photo: Elmer Francisco on Facebook

Far from what it used to look like – one part jeepney, one part “Fiera” – the new Harabas will have a new look that’s more apt for the times. Gone will be its (literally) edgy design and in its place a taller and wider form, although it can also be built in other configurations (high roof, low roof, transporter, cargo, ambulance, etc.) to serve different purposes. But since it will primarily be a commercial vehicle or people carrier, the model/configuration we see here will feature a sliding door on the side as well as split doors at the back for easier cargo loading and unloading.

Fmc Francisco Motors Harabas Ev Inline 02 Min

Photo: Elmer Francisco on Facebook

The biggest change of the Harabas, though, is its power plant. According to Elmer Francisco, it will be powered by a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery that can reach a 400-kilometer range with a single charge. The power cell can also be fast-charged from 20% to 80% in just 30 minutes. That said, the famed AUV will have grown with the times (and technology), indeed.

Fmc Francisco Motors Harabas Ev Inline 03 Min

Photo: Elmer Francisco on Facebook

As of now, though, the Harabas is still being built. Francisco openly states that he cannot claim all credit for its build since materials are still being sourced from countries including the USA, Germany, China, Taiwan, and Australia. With government support, though, which he hopes will be given, Francisco Motors can ensure that the Harabas will be 100% Philippine-made. But whether it does come or not, Francisco confidently said “with your support, we’ll get there with or without government support”.

That said, this is something worth getting behind of, right? If icons like the Toyota Tamaraw can make a triumphant comeback on Philippine soil – also with a plethora of different configurations – then the Harabas deserves a fighting chance, too. So, Francisco Motors has already made its move. Your turn, then, PH government.

Mikko Juangco
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