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Optimism on prospects of electric vehicles

Government and the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) are optimistic on the future of electric vehicles in the Philippines as the number of EVs worldwide continues to grow.

“It’s bound to enter. There’s nothing we can do. They will really come in,” Department of Energy (DoE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella told reporters at the sidelines of the 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

“And with the passage of the Train law (Republic Act 10963), which gives incentives to EVs, the penetration of these vehicles to the Philippine market will surely be evident,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in his speech during the summit, which was delivered on his behalf by Fuentebella.

Global EV sales hit 1.2 million units last year, with battery-powered electric vehicles comprising the majority of sales, EVAP President Rommel Juan said, citing the latest report of global consulting firm Frost & Sulivan.

Juan said global EV sales is expected to reach 1.6 million this year and the number of public charging stations at 100,000.

“There are now 3.3 million electric cars in use around the world. China and Europe together make up about 75% of the global EV market,” he said.

In the Philippines, Juan said there is a momentum for EV sales driven by various public and private initiatives.

In the public sector, the Department of Transportation’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is in full swing. The program seeks to upgrade about 200,000 public utility jeepneys, with EVs accounting for about 10%.

The Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investments are also introducing an Eco-PUV Program to provide the vehicle solution to the PUVMP by giving incentives to both EV platform suppliers and body builders.

Also, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is drafting a technical regulation for courses on EV maintenance, servicing and repairs, which Juan said will help facilitate EV sales outside Metro Manila.

The Bureau of Philippine Standards is crafting standards covering the modern PUV powered by Euro 4 internal combustion engines or electric motors.

In the private sector, Juan said several companies are entering the EV local scene, with Nissan Philippines Inc., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., Hyundai, BYD, and Minghong Vehicles bringing in their electric cars and SUVs.

The DoE, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), QEV, and Unioil Petroleum Philippines are also setting up the needed EV infrastructure, battery charging stations, and swapping stations in strategic locations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved in March a new Meralco unit called eSakay, Inc., which would be engaged in “the business of owning, maintaining, and operating transport service networks of charging stations, batteries, and vehicles utilizing electric energy and other alternative energy sources.”

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