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August 19, 2021

Philippines Is Getting Left Behind In EV-Related Policy

It sure looks like the Philippines is lagging when it comes to legislation centered around cutting tailpipe emissions. This as Southeast Asian neighbors and major manufacturing hubs Thailand and Indonesia have announced aggressive measures to cut emissions in vehicles.

Thailand, considered as the Detroit of Southeast Asia, has laid down an electrification road map that will see 30 percent of total domestic production there be zero emissions (basically all-electric) by 2030 (the so-called 30/30 policy). Meanwhile, to promote its usage, Thailand is set to introduce both tax and non-tax incentives for both manufacturers and consumers while putting up 12,000 public fast-charging stations by that time.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, which shifted to Euro 4 emissions standard much later than the Philippines (it only became mandatory there early this year) announced the goal of selling 2.2 million electric vehicles by 2030. Moreover, it plans to stop all sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2050. Home to more than 15 million cars and 112 million motorcycles (as of 2019), the Indonesian government has started a pilot project that converts motorcycles that run on combustion engines into electric-powered ones. It also wants to become a global hub for battery production.

Malaysia, on the other hand, has a more detailed road map with plans to move to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) first before shifting to full EVs after. In their case, they are set to mandate a 55-kilometer full-electric range for PHEVs by next year, upping it to 75 kilometers by 2025 and 100 kilometers by 2028. Aside from plans to cut excise tax on electrified vehicles, the government there is putting up 7,000 public AC charging points and 500 DC charging points.

Even Brunei, where fuel is extremely cheap is also starting to get into the act. While not a shift to EVs per se, they are planning to implement fuel economy standards (17.2 km/L by 2020 and 21.3 km/L by 2025) on passenger cars while also aiming to reduce emissions especially on public transport.

As for the Philippines, EVs may have been supported through public policy since 2006 (in the form of excise tax exemption), but so far, the government has been reluctant to offer additional incentives to address demand or infrastructure.

Even under the DTI’s Investment Priorities Plan (which included the setting up of charging stations), policy sought foreign investment or public-private partnership projects (PPP) instead of outright public infrastructure investment.


  1. I'm not surprised -_-

  2. As expected, there will be little state-sponsored public investment. It'll go back to the same old PPP script, and with that, only those politicians with vested interests and have stocks on private companies (or part of those private companies and contractors themselves) will benefit from this. Philippines is already way too late to reclaim the lost crown as one of "car manufacturing hubs", and yet, here we are again.

    If we continue this lassiez-faire antiquated policies, then our country is so technologically and globally hopeless now.

  3. Our government lacks foresight and planning.. They only focus on short term goals and band aid solutions.

  4. It is expected,(but unacceptable) with this kind of government.


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