Green vehicles under one roof

Inaugural Asean Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Summit unfurls tomorrow at the World Trade Center

EVs and hybrids are now exempted from excise tax.

EVs and hybrids are now exempted from excise tax.

For the first time in the Philippines, seriously committed “green” vehicle manufacturers—local and foreign—will gather their wares under one roof starting tomorrow for the Asean Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Summit.

For two days, electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be on full display at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Participating government and private organizations include the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi), Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines (Evap), the Board of Investments, Manila Electric Company (Meralco), and local representatives of global Japanese brands.

They will be joined by international counterparts from Malaysia, Thailand and Korea.

For the first time, an exhibit will bring together environment-friendly vehicles from mainstream car manufacturers, the locally based Evap, energy suppliers, and government economic policy makers.

These groups have committed to advance greener technologies and the environment agenda in the Philippines via public exhibits of EVs and plug-in hybrids, coinciding with the by-invitation-only Asean EV and Hybrid Summit.

There are only about 500 electric tricycles, plus another 200 electric jeepneys, operating nationwide.

Operating soon would be over 3,000 e-trikes that the Department of Energy has already awarded to Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines, but have not yet been deployed.

This only shows that there is immense room for growth in an automotive sub-sector whose time has apparently come none too soon.

The multi-sectoral participation in the exhibit and summit has been considered a “landmark gathering.”

Rommel T. Juan, Evap president, told Inquirer Motoring on Monday, “Our EV market is still very small. Mainstream EVs have not penetrated the market yet. This is the first time Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan will showcase their hybrid and plug-in hybrid models in the country,” said Juan.

Excise tax exemption

Juan explained: “There is definitely a future [for EVs and hybrids] as we are seeing some incentives already. For instance, EVs and hybrids will be exempted now from excise tax. The House and Senate versions that will be approved by the end of the year would make EVs and hybrids excise tax-exempted. We’re still working on the EV and hybrid bill. It’ll have more nonfiscal incentives, like free commercial area parking, exemption from number coding, and green lanes for registration.”

He added: “The benefits are already common knowledge: good for the environment, more energy-efficient, less dependence on foreign oil importation, and less respiratory problems for Filipinos. The obstacles are still the lack of charging station infrastructure and the high cost of these new technologies.”

Juan also pointed out the significance of the timing of the event, considering that this would also coincide with the Philippines’ hosting of the Asean Summit later this year.

“We have many foreign delegates who will deliver their country’s reports, and we hope to come up with an Asean EV and hybrid federation to sign a memorandum of understanding during the summit.”

2-day summit

The EV and Hybrid Summit opening on June 29 will have welcome remarks by Juan, Campi president Rommel T. Gutierrez, and Meralco president and CEO Oscar S. Reyes.

Keynote speaker will be Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, with other messages delivered by Electric Vehicle Association of Malaysia president Tan You Soon, Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand president Yossapong Laoonual, PhD, and IEVE & Global EV Association Network Korea chair Daehwan Kim.

On June 30, keynote speakers would be Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Various activities include a session titled “Electric vehicles and hybrids for a more resilient world” with Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota; conferment of e-mobility awards; presentation of the evolution of electric vehicle batteries and charging protocols; a talk on the Paris Agreement and its impact on the transport sector with Climate Change Commission Secretary lawyer Vernice Victorio, DENR-EMB Climate Change division chief Albert Magalang, and Clean Air Asia executive director Glynda Bathan-Baterina; a product technology solutions presentation; turnover of the chairmanship and hosting of the Asean Federation of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Industry; and closing remarks by BOI Industry Development Services executive director Ma. Corazon Dichosa-Halili.

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