Developing countries should invest in electric vehicles in 2018–ADB

Developing member-countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) should invest in solar and electric vehicles, as this year will be the year of the electric car.

In an Asian Development Blog, ADB Central and West Asia Department Principal Energy Specialist Sohail Hasne said the battle for solar and electric vehicles has been won and “countries would do well to take these alternative modes of transport seriously.”

Hasne added 2018 has been declared as the year of the electric car. He said this year will see greater innovations in electric batteries that can power cars and homes.

“[The year] 2018 will be way more exciting, and my slogan for this year is: The battle for solar and electric vehicles is over—either you are in [or] you are out. Make sure you are in, or you will in fact be left out,” he said.

Hasne said that in 2018, the solar battery market to watch is Australia, especially with the recent announcement of the South Australian government that it built the largest lithium-ion battery in the world for electricity network security services.

In 2017 Hasne said Australia added over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar and around 17,000 home batteries.

He added that the Tesla Battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve absorbed between 15 to 26 MW for 194 minutes, when the wholesale electricity market had negative prices.

Hasne said this meant the battery power station was paid about AU$1,000  or $795 per megawatt- hour  to take electricity, which could be sold back to the grid at a higher price.

“A year ago, I argued that with such low battery prices, those who still believe solar energy and storage would never wipe out investments in fossil fuels are living in denial. This still holds true, and the trend will escalate in 2018,” Hasne said.

In 2017 the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) formed a unit that will maintain and operate transportation service networks using electric energy.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange last December, Meralco said the new subsidiary will cater to charging stations, batteries and vehicles utilizing electric energy and other alternative energy sources.

Japanese automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., also disclosed its plans to offer over 10 purely electric-vehicle models in its pipeline by 2020.

Toyota currently does not offer purely electric vehicles but leads in the sale of hybrid models. These hybrids exchanged a gas engine for an electric motor.

Last year documents from the National Economic and Development Authority showed the national government canceled $359.76 million of the $400-million loan from the ADB and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

This amount is composed of the $268.06-million loan from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources and $91.698 million from the CTF, which is managed in trust by the Manila-based multilateral development bank.

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