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September 23, 2021

Philippine EV Sales Were Hurt Badly By Pandemic, But EV Association Sees A Silver Lining

The pandemic hit the automotive industry hard, but more so, the fledging electric vehicle industry. This was revealed by the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President Edmund Araga.

During his opening speech to open the virtual Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, Araga said: “It is a fact that the pandemic is making things very hard. It has significantly slowed down the EV industry. In 2020, the registered EVs in the country dropped 35 percent to 1,015 units from 1,570 units in 2019, pre-pandemic. Overall, the Philippines now has 12,965 registered EVs from 2010 to 2020 comprising of e-trikes, e-motorcycles, e-jeepneys, and e-cars.”

While sales ledgers remained almost blank last year, EVAP does see the silver lining—they are made headway in advocating the shift to zero emission vehicles.

“OEM companies, whom we fondly call ‘the big boys’ followed suit [in joining EVAP],” noted Araga. “In the past 12 months alone, EVAP has welcomed three EV charging system suppliers and network providers.”

“In addition, several local and foreign-owned major electronics and automotive parts and component manufacturers have initiated meeting 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,” continued Araga.

In terms of legislation, Araga revealed that two versions of EV-centric laws are making their way through Congress and the Senate. The first, Senate Bill No. 1382 or the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act passed last May. The second, House Bill No. 4075 has already passed the second reading. The next step would be bicameral deliberations, and hopefully, be passed into law before the end of the current Congress.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy has already released charging infrastructure guidelines and policy last July. It covers the development, establishment, and operations of EV charging stations nationwide. That circular provides a pathway for fiscal incentives to motivate businesses to put up and adopt EV charging stations.

Finally, the Land Transportation Office also issued an administrative order that consolidates the guidelines on the classification, registration, and operations of types of EVs. This paves the way for further guidance for consumers’ purchase decisions and for local manufacturers to plan out strategies.

With all these developments, the EVAP hopes to put a difficult 2020 past them. In addition, they hope to increase the acceptance and further incentivize electric vehicle investments and ownership in the Philippines.

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