Eco-friendly e-vehicles seen to boost local automotive industry

By Monico D. Mekaniko

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA—Electric vehicles or e-vehicles are slowly becoming popular among Filipinos and some e-vehicles are now actually being used in the metro for public transport.

As one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2), there is now a pressing need for the automotive industry to explore alternatives for environmental efficiency. New opportunities have continuously been developed over the years for the electrification of vehicles or e-mobility in the Philippines.

E-bikes and e-tricycles are also gradually gaining momentum in the local back-end industry, offering the benefits of e-mobility to the masses.

However, the transition may bring about local challenges such as high import taxes and the availability of public and private EV charging infrastructures in the country.

In a recent report from the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), local e-vehicle stakeholders need 30 percent tariff protection on imported completed built-up e-vehicles.

The importation of parts, components and capital equipment that are not available locally must likewise be opened at zero tariff to support the growth of this sector. While EVs are seen as the future of sustainable mobility, the potential cost benefits vary from country to country.

Automotive technology suppliers like Bosch Software Innovations is among those advocating

studies on the adaptation of e-mobility and cost of implementation.

The e-Mobility Solution is a modular software comprising of various components and frameworks for the EV charging infrastructure. It serves as common software platform for all e-Mobility stakeholders including electric utilities, charging spot manufacturers and mobility service providers among others.

According to Joseph Hong, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Inc. (Philippines), e-mobility will help accelerate demand in local businesses in the country particularly in the manufacturing and utility industries besides addressing climate change concerns.

“E-mobility will not only save fuel costs and contribute to the environment, but also boost innovation in local automotive companies. This will open up an opportunity to create a substantial number of jobs as a result,” he furthered.

Globally, 18 brands of e-bikes are already equipped with Bosch drive systems. By 2013, Bosch will be supplying 12 automakers with components and systems required for e-mobility-related projects.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!

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