While the pandemic delayed the electric vehicle (EV) sector’s progress, a positive outlook is retained given the “growing interest” from the part of potential investors and regulatory moves to beef up the industry.
Edmund A. Araga, Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) president, said during the 9th Philippine EV Summit on Thursday there were fewer EVs registered in the past year amid the pandemic.
Registered EVs slid by 35 percent to 1,015 units last year from 1,570 units in 2019. In 2010-2020, the country has 12,965 EVs registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
These include mostly e-trikes (7,100) and e-motorcycles (4,845). Others are e-jeepneys (679), e-cars (276), e-sports utility vehicles (43), e-trucks (12) and e-buses (10).
But the EVAP head said that the industry has bright prospects given that more players are getting interested to join.
“In the past 12 months alone, EVAP has welcomed three EV charging system suppliers and network providers,” he said. “In addition, several local and foreign-owned major electronics and automotive parts and component manufacturers have initiated meetings with EVAP for better understanding of the industry and for them to express serious interest to join the fray.”
“The growing interest from these sectors is monumental as they fill up a big gap and put the country closer to completing an EV ecosystem,” Araga added.
Meanwhile, Araga said they are “hopeful” about the passage of the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, which advocates for the use of EVs.
“We are all looking forward to its eventual passage, the bicameral deliberations, and finally the signing into to law within the term of the current Congress,” he said.
The industry group welcomed the release of a department circular by the Department of Energy, which covers the development, establishment and operations of charging stations. Araga said this “provides pathway for fiscal incentives to motivate business to put up and adopt EV charging stations.”
Araga expressed appreciation towards LTO’s administrative order that consolidates the guidelines on the classification, registration and operations of types of EVs. He said this can help both the consumers to make their purchases and local manufacturers to set up appropriate strategies moving forward.
The EVAP chief shared that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is currently working on the electric vehicle investment strategy. “This is why we have more than enough reasons to be optimistic for the coming year,” he said.
The DTI’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, which promotes the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies, identifies automotive industry, EV included, as one of the priority sectors.
The Board of Investment, DTI’s attached agency, approved the application of CHRG Electric Vehicle Technology to produce EV fast chargers and retrofit kits in February. It invested P3.9 million in a production facility in Quezon City.