EVAP Hopeful TRAIN Law will Pave Way for Affordable Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President and spokesperson Rommel T. Juan is hopeful that with the recently-enacted Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law exempting electric vehicles from the excise tax--due in part to EV stakeholders' representation with Congress--it would pave the way not only for more affordable EV models but in increased investments in supporting infrastructure which will help sustain the momentum for electric mobility.

Juan said as much at the 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, which opened its doors yesterday at the SMX Convention Center in the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, with the theme "Stepping Up Partnerships To Electrify Public and Private Transport."

"Our two-day event is all about building partnerships, aligning objectives, and taking collective action to facilitate further adoption of electric vehicles in the country," Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President and spokesperson Rommel T. Juan said. "Are EVs finally taking off? Without a doubt! According to the latest report of global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, global electric car sales totaled 1 million for the first time in 2017--reaching 1.2 million units--with battery electric vehicles making up the majority of sales. In 2018, global electric car sales will reach 1.6 million units, and the number of public charging stations will reach 100,000. There are now 3.3 million electric cars in use around the world. China and Europe together make up about 75 percent of the global EV market."

In the Philippines, Juan sees a continuing momentum for EV sales driven by the many ongoing public and private initiatives.

According to Juan, "The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is in full swing, targeting to upgrade some 200,000 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) during the next six years, about 10 percent of which will be electric. This is getting a lot of help from the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC)."

"In support of this Program, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Board of Investments (BOI) are putting in place an Eco-PUV Program to provide the vehicle solution to the PUVMP by giving incentives to both EV platform suppliers and body builders," Juan added. "Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) now have loans available for the modern PUV. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is working on a technical regulation that would allow it to offer EV maintenance, servicing and repairs in all TESDA learning centers nationwide which will help facilitate EV sales outside of Metro Manila."

Juan mentioned that the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) is busy formulating the standards that would cover the modern PUV powered by either Euro 4 internal combustion engines or electric motors. The standards for Modern PUV Class 2 and 3 have been approved while in the works are those for Class 1 and 4.  Some 50 standards will also be crafted for the specifications, performance and testing of EV parts and components.

"In the private sector front, Nissan Philippines, Inc., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, Hyundai, BYD, and Minghong Vehicles are bringing in their electric cars and SUVs. Star 8 has been very busy selling electric jeepneys to the LGUs nationwide while BEMAC continues to promote its electric tricycles and Softbank EVs. QEV Inc. now has an EV powertrain for the modern PUJ while Unioil and CharIn are bringing in battery charging technology. DOE, Meralco, QEV and Unioil have been busy setting up the most important EV infrastructure in place, battery charging and swapping stations in strategic locations. Beep has its automated fare collection system while Infineon Technology has the modern gadgets available," Juan said.

For his part, MERALCO Vice President Raymond Ravelohighlighted his company's commitment and full support for the industry as well as its new focus on electric vehicles as being part of the power distribution grid.

"We fulfilled our role in energizing and providing the electrical infrastructure and transformer upgrades needed by the EV fast charging stations, while also extending our charging station installation expertise," said Ravelo. "We are moving ahead on discussions with potential partners on vehicle-to-grid (V2G)technologies. This is the next game changer for the EV and electric industry as a whole as it will assist in the economics of owning an electric vehicle, while at the same time providing a steadying effect to the supply and power quality of the distribution grid."

The event also served as the venue for the soft launch of the DOTr's "Promotion of Low Carbon Urban Transport Systems in the Philippines" project, the objective of which is to create an enabling environment for the commercialization of low carbon urban transport systems, i.e. electric vehicles, in the Philippines.

Today, June 11, is the final day of the 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, with the doors closing at 5 p.m..

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