BOI approves fiscal perks for EV batteries producer

A manufacturer of fast chargers and retrofit kits has secured fiscal incentives from the Board of Investments (BOI) for its commitment to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV).

The BOI on Monday announced the entry of CHRG Electric Vehicle Technologies Inc. as a new producer of EV fast chargers and retrofit kits. The firm has invested a total of P3.9 million to put up a manufacturing facility at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City, as part of the business incubator headed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The project was awarded by the BOI a nonpioneer status under the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) that now includes innovation drivers, such as the commercialization of new products and services, as a business area that can avail of incentives.

With its nonpioneer status, CHRG is granted up to 4 years of income tax holiday. Its project in UP also obtains duty exemption on imported capital equipment, spare parts and accessories, as well as exemption from wharfage dues, tax break on breeding stocks and genetic materials, tax credits on imported raw materials, among others.

In exchange, CHRG has committed to transfer its production to either Bulacan or Rizal once its operations gain traction to provide jobs in the countryside.

The UP, as the owner of Charging in a Minute technology, has authorized CHRG to make such units. On the other hand, CHRG is working with the government to get its EV fast chargers and retrofit kits the necessary licenses to infiltrate the commercial market.The firm has declared a capacity to manufacture up to 12 units of fast chargers and 236 retrofit kits every year, a volume that can contribute to the BOI’s move to enhance the infrastructure for EV adoption in the Philippines.

The BOI expects EVs to play a role in changing the transportation landscape of the future, but it understands the country is lagging behind in terms of developing support infrastructure, such as charging stations. CHRG, for its part, has deployed two EV fast chargers in Alabang to test the commercial viability of the unit.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said his agency’s approval of the CHRG project in UP improves the partnership between the BOI and the DOST in coming up with a log of homegrown innovations that can be introduced in the market.

Similarly, he argued new technologies are needed by the economy now in its rebound from the declines it endured from the Covid-19 lockdowns. In the long term, he said projects such as that of CHRG paves the way for buyers to transition to electric vehicles, from fossil fueled cars, and for the Philippines to become a manufacturing powerhouse for EV parts.

According to Swedish consultancy, EV sales worldwide last year jumped more than 43 percent to 3.24 million units, from 2.26 million units in 2019, to defy all odds in a period when nearly every industry suffered a decline.

Sales of battery EVs and plug in hybrid EVs in Europe reached 1.4 million units to double from the 2019 total of some 589,000 units, as automakers in the region introduced new models and governments dangled incentives to entice buyers to shift. The Elon Musk-owned Tesla Inc. was the leading brand last year with a delivery of nearly 500,000 units.

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