First ASEAN Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit takes off

In Photo: Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. President Rommel Gutierrez (fourth from right), together with Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines President Rommel Juan (third from left), leads the pioneering summit

THE World Trade Center in Pasay City became the pinnacle hub for a greener future in the country with other neighboring countries for two days, as the First Asean Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit recently came to pass.

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Gearheads, automotive-industry leaders and other bright minds from around the region converged in an event that would eventually shape the landscape of not just the local motoring industry—but the world. Coorganized together with the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi), top dogs such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments (BOI), Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines and Meralco, the affair gathered over 600 industry players and stakeholders from Asean participating countries.

With the theme, “Strengthening Partnerships for Greener Transport in Asean and Beyond”, this pioneering conference turned out to be the venue to promote active collaboration between Asian countries to accelerate the development of more environment-friendly transportation in further achieving greener cities. And thus, with such an alliance, the summit became an avenue to create a unified voice in promoting green technology.

“We are truly proud to be part of this landmark summit,” said Campi President Rommel Gutierrez during his opening remarks.

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“Now we have a formal venue to share ideas, best practices, innovations, policies, regulatory, market and environmental topics that would impact the industry to further provide better and more sustainable transport, not mention personal mobility for Filipinos on the road.”

For the head honcho, the place was also a fitting venue to reaffirm the strength of the Campi as an organization through car displays and plenary participation of their 16 members.

“This summit shows us and our neighbors that with appropriate support from the government and cooperation from the private sector we can lead our peers and move forward in [the] Asean and beyond,” he averred.

As a testament, CAMPI members showed support by showcasing the  latest electric and hybrid vehicles to hit Philippine roads, which included the Toyota Prius PHV, Lexus NX 300h, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and i-MiEV and the Nissan Note e-Power and Nissan Leaf.

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Also highlighting their commitment to make personal mobility more sustainable are some of the Chamber’s member-brands, such as BAIC EU260, BMW i8, Daewoo EV/HEV BS 120CN, FOTON Tornado Cummins, Honda Legend 3.5 Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, Isuzu ERGA, KIA Soul EV, Mazda i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System, Mercedes-Benz C 350 e, Peugeot 308 Station Wagon with BlueHDI Technology, SsangYong XAV, Suzuki IGNIS 1.2 Dualjet SVHS and Volkswagen I.D. Buzz through a colorful photo gallery of their eco-friendly innovations.

The event also saw the ceremonial turnover of i-MiEV and Outlander PHEV by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the DTI, along with the signing of a memorandum of agreement. Others, in the meantime, showcased their respective electric and hybrid cars, as well as e-jeeps and e-tricycles.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and i-MIEV were donated to the DENR and the DTI. The Lexus NX 300h was displayed together with the Toyota Prius.

BAIC, one of the leading electric vehicle makers in China participated by holding a news conference for the media about their green-technology vehicles. In fact, the vehicle’s local distributor, Bayan Auto President and CEO George Chua, was ecstatic on promoting these kinds of transportation.

“Baic Philippines has been environmentally aware and responsible. From the very beginning of our launch here, we have been selling Euro 4 and 5 compliant vehicles,” he said.

“We are selling 17, 100 global sales of our purely electric vehicles. As long as the conditions are right in the country, we will bring them in.”

To summit and beyond after the summit, the organizers have their eyes fixed in making the theories tackled during the event a reality.

Coorganizer Meralco Vice President Raymond Ravelo, for one, said the government is already laying the groundwork with the more than 250,000 local jeepneys to be replaced by e-jeeps.

“We remain steadfast. As customers rely on our company for guidance in these kinds of matters, we are making things a reality by working closely with the government. We are working on charging and infrastructure space, fast charging, upgrade of transformers for mass charging, battery swapping, electrical grid, power system and requirements, speed and the testing of new e-vehicles in our compound.”

Meanwhile, EVAP President Rommel Juan shared that he is looking forward to the exemption of electric and hybrid vehicles from the looming excise tax.

“We are also hoping for the passage of the bill [Senate Bill 1408] since it will entail free parking in commercial areas, free charging and exemption from coding, green lane for registration and many others,” he stated.

According to him, by 2030, 40 percent of the vehicle population on the road will be composed of these cars, which are more efficient, more eco-friendly accounting to lesser respiratory problems and with less dependence on foreign oil.

Image Credits: Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes