The Philippine car industry is rushing to replace current models of automobiles running on fossil fuels that have recently become expensive due to the conflict in Ukraine. Over the years, manufacturers have researched on different forms of alternative fuel: hydrogen fuel cells, electric, hybrid, etc.
Today, close to 90% of automobile manufacturers worldwide announced they will stop producing internal combustion engines by year 2050, transitioning from hybrid gas and electric engines to full electric or fuel cell engines.
The Philippines however has not kept in pace with the transition. Vehicles with alternative engine power have only started to enter the country.
Recently, BMW and Toyota introduced their version of alternatively powered cars to be sold in the local market. BMW presented their electric iX XDrive 4D, while Toyota introduced the hybrid Veloz. Prior to this, PGA Cars’ Audi launched the e-Tron SUV and GT, both electric cars.
Mitsubishi has their PHEV Montero; Nissan is enjoying the popularity of the Leaf; Volvo introduced their XC40; and various Chinese brands have electric models.
The Philippine Congress was earlier pressured by market forces to allow the entry of alternative powered vehicles into the country. The country now has Republic Act 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Act.
The new law deals with the financial — taxes, levies and incentives — and business aspects of importing, assembling, marketing and selling electric powered vehicles in the country.
According to its Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry or CREVI, within a still unspecified time frame, a mandatory 5-percent share in corporate and government motor vehicle fleets must be composed of electric cars.
This mandate includes cargo logistics, food delivery, tour agencies, hotels, power and water utilities, and public transport operators.
New buildings will be required to dedicate 5% of the total number of their parking to EVs, preferably with a charging station per parking slot. The law also designates fuel stations to have a dedicated space for charging areas that can be operated by the station owner or a service provider.
The new law also provides incentives to motorists who will own electric vehicles, like a 30% discount for EV owners and 15% for hybrid owners when registering with the Land Transportation Office, priority registration, exemption from traffic reduction schemes like number coding, and much more, the perks for car companies are still vague.
It may be convenient for car buyers to acquire electric cars, at the moment it is definitely not cheap to buy one.