Gov’t, private firms bullish on future of e-vehicles

By Alexander Villafania

PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA—Around 100,000 units of e-vehicles are targeted to be deployed in various offices of the public and private sector in the coming years, as plans are underway to deploy the green vehicles as a form of public transport.

During the recently held second Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI said that they are pushing for further implementation of e-vehicle deployment to spruce up the public transportation requirements.

The deployment of e-vehicles offers a number of benefits for the Philippines, one of which is improving the quality of air in major cities since e-vehicles have no carbon emissions, said energy chief Jose Rene Almendras.

Mass production offer a good business opportunity for local e-vehicle manufacturers, especially when gas-guzzling automobiles, including tricycles and jeeps, are replaced by e-vehicles.

“It took us over one year to conduct a feasibility study of e-vehicles. I think we’ve passed the problem of acceptance among transport operators and passengers about the use of e-vehicles,” Almendras said.

One of the things to help ensure the mass production and deployment of e-vehicles is the passage of the legislative proposals related to alternative fuel-powered automobiles, said DTI Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio.

Such a bill would allow local manufacturers to start building more vehicles to target different markets here and abroad.

The House of Representatives recently approved House Bill 5460 or the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act, which is awaiting a version from the Senate.

Though the Senate remains embroiled with the impeachment case of Justice Secretary Renato Corona, Panlilio said that the end of the case should already push the Senate to review and pass the counterpart bill.

Manila Electric Corporation (Meralco) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said that his company is looking at ramping up support for the local e-vehicle manufacturers by offering charge stations for e-vehicles.

Pangilinan is also exploring at partnerships to invest in manufacturing of e-trikes and e-buses.

Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said the number of local e-vehicle manufacturers continues to rise. Potential partnerships with foreign firms in providing materials and equipment for local manufacturers are also being explored.

“We think the future of e-vehicles in the Philippines will continue to grow. With growing demand and deployment of facilities to charge and maintain these vehicles, we think that it would become more cost-effective alternative public transport,” said Juan.

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