THIS year’s recently concluded Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) summit was about adopting electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Themed “Plug-in and Accelerate,” the organization is leading the local electric vehicle sector in further pushing for implementation of the provisions of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (Republic Act No. 11697) over a year after the enactment of the legislation.
Under the EVIDA Law, corporate firms and government agencies must have EVs that comprise at least 5 percent of their fleet. EV users are also entitled to dedicated parking slots in public and private buildings and establishments, where EV charging stations should also be installed for more convenient charging of vehicles. Other incentives are also set, including exempting EVs from traffic coding schemes, priority registration of EVs, and speedier processing of franchise-to-operate applications for public transportation fleets.
“Our partner, the Department of Energy, is actively pushing for a faster rollout of EV use nationwide under its Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry or CREVI, which is serving as our ‘north star’ for wider and more concise implementation of the EVIDA Law,” said EVAP President Edmund Araga.
Based on EVAP data as of October 2022, about 15,300 EV units are being used in the country-354 are electric motorcycles, and 88 are electric buses. As of November 2022, 900 EV charging units are in various stations nationwide. The group is projecting EV stock to reach more than 6.6 million units by 2030.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is working on a national Electric Vehicle Incentive Strategy (EVIS) that will further encourage local businesses to switch to EVs. Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) focuses on modernizing public utility vehicles, with EVs as the preferred transport units. Other government agencies are also working on their part in EV adoption.
“Another highlight of this year’s EV summit is the launch of the UNIDO Project, aimed at accelerating the adoption and scale-up of electric mobility for low-carbon city development during PEVS 2023,” Araga announced.
Araga assured that PEVS 2023 will be the biggest and most productive and engaging in the summit’s history so far. “Expect a number of new vehicle launches from our partners. We have engaging panel discussions, plus the numerous exhibits and displays of the latest EVs and related technologies.”
Meanwhile, the 11th edition of EVAP was, undoubtedly the biggest in the number of EV displays and presentations. Since the organization’s primary focus is promoting wider EV adoption in the country, more Chinese EV makers have joined their European and Japanese counterparts in showcasing their respective all-electric vehicle models. This year, six EV models were previewed or launched, to the spectators’ delight.
AC Motors and BYD
The company’s first foray into electrified vehicles was the launch of the Kia EV6. After officially taking over the BYD distributorship this year, the company’s first project was the preview of the Atto 3 all-electric crossover. No less than BYD Philippines president and CEO Toti Zara presented the newest addition to the growing local EV lineup.
Set to launch in November, the BYD Atto 3 will be the first model in the country utilizing the brand’s latest e-Platform 3.0, along with the brand’s proprietary blade battery technology. While the product specifications and pricing are still under wraps, online sources indicate two available variants—standard and extended ranges. Power-wise, the electric motor generates 201 hp and over 300 N-m of torque. Interestingly, the interior has that unique fitness gym theme, resembling equipment design on the interior elements. Perhaps the most enticing announcement by Zara was the price reduction of the BYD Dolphin to P1.398 million (a P270,000 decrease).
Dongfeng electric workhorse
After its successful brand launch, the Chinese EV brand officially launched the Rich 6 450 all-electric pickup. Motivation comes from an electric motor generating 174 hp and 453 N-m of torque. The total drive range is up to 453 kilometers. The Dongfeng Rich 6 450 retails at P2.860 million.
Chery’s EV duo
Chery Philippines also gave the public a sneak peek of their upcoming models. Among the three new models, two were EVs. First was the EQ1 EV, capable of generating 75 hp and 120 N-m of torque. This small all-electric car has a driving range of up to 281 kilometers. Nest was the EQ7 all-electric compact crossover. Its rear-mounted electric motor generates 208 hp and 285 N-m of torque with a total drive range of up to 512 kilometers.
GWM’s curvy and funky EV
After introducing two HEV models last summer, GWM (Great Wall Motors) Philippines is joining the EV race in the country with the preview of its upcoming EV model, the Ora 03 hatchback. Before the EVAP summit, select motoring media could see it up close and drive it for a short distance. The design is unique, given its curvy and somewhat retro look. GWM Philippines is looking at offering two variants–370 km and 500 drive ranges. Power-wise, the electric motor generates 145 hp and 210 N-m of torque. This retro-styled hatchback EV is set to debut next year, according to GWM Philippines.
The electric Hyper SUV
Last, the all-electric Lotus Eletre with an introductory price of P9.999 million. This electric hyper SUV is all about power with zero emission. The vehicle’s twin electric motor generates a total of 905 hp. The total drive range is up to 600 kilometers with a top speed of 260 km/h. It only takes 2.95 seconds for this electric hyper SUV to sprint to 100 km/h.
Image credits: Randy S. Peregrino