Roadmap seeks to help Filipino ‘e-vehicle’ makers

By Monico D. Mekaniko

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – Plans are underway to make the electric vehicles or e-vehicles more common in our roads and also help Filipino companies involve in the manufacturing and assembly of parts for these eco-friendly vehicles.

E-vehicles will be included in a proposed roadmap that would help build the Philippines’ domestic automotive parts manufacturing and assembly sector.

The roadmap, drafted by University of Asia and the Pacific professor Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba, sets the guidelines in building fiscal incentives for companies in the automotive manufacturing and assembly industry. The aim is to turn the Philippines into a regional hub for complete build up (CBU) automotive manufacturing by the year 2020.

When the roadmap is implemented, it would focus on building vehicles or parts for Asian markets. Companies producing vehicle parts and serving local assembly companies will also benefit from the support through improved supply base and ample excise tax reductions of around 30 percent to 35 percent for vehicles with 2 liter or less capacities.

In addition, the draft roadmap also encourages that automotive vehicles should continue to be part of the annual investment priorities (IPP) of the government, which would allow companies to have tax holidays of around three to eight years and preferential duties on capital equipment.

Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said the expected long-term benefits of the roadmap would include doubling of the local complete knock down (CKD) assembly in the next seven years, increase in domestic original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and aftermarket parts sales, and increase export sales by as much as $6 billion in the next two years.

“We expect that if the roadmap is approved, the prices of electric jeepneys, quad-cycles, tricycles, buses, scooters and bicycles will be reduced by as much as 30 percent. Thus, we are confident that the EV industry will then also grow at the same, if not faster, rate than the auto industry,” Juan said.

Electric vehicles are fast becoming successful mode of public transport in recent years. Several municipalities have implemented the use of electric jeepneys and tricycles for short trips. Among these are Makati City and Taguig City.

Plans are already being made by government agencies and private sector groups to expand the use of e-vehicles for public transport in the Philippines. About 100,000 units are targeted to be deployed in various offices in the coming years.

There are now e-vehicles roaming some parts of Manila and it would probably be a good idea to try riding in one.

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

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