Shift to EV to save PH P390B fuel use

The Philippines could generate yearly savings of up to P390 billion, or roughly $9.8 billion, from fuel consumption if millions of Filipinos would opt for a shift to electric vehicles.

That has been the assumption presented by Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian, as his proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, already secured the approval at the Senate.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“The passage of the measure will lessen the transport sector’s dependence on imported oil,” he said, while emphasizing that once EV shift will reach commercial scale rollout in the country, that could redound to oil usage reduction of as much as 146.56 million barrels per year.

The other major benefit of the country’s electric mobility goal, he noted, would be on exponentially scaling down carbon footprints that will then concretize the Philippines sustainability agenda.

“As we all know, motor vehicles pollute our streets and the use of e-vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the lawmaker stressed.

Beyond that, Gatchalian stated that e-vehicles will also serve as added investment platform for the manufacturing sector “because what is incorporated in the bill is not only promotion of the use of EVs but also the development of the EV industry – not just the vehicle itself but the whole ecosystem,” – and that shall include charging stations, batteries as well as parts and components.

Once the law is passed, the lawmaker is raising hopes that “consumer demand for electric vehicles in the country is likely to perk up especially as it will be proven to be more affordable in the long run than the traditional gas-powered ones.”

Gatchalian pointed out “the high cost of EVs will eventually be at parity with the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are provided for the importation, utilization and manufacture of EVs in the country.”

Through the proposed EV Law, the principal author-solon also made assurances that vehicle registration for electric vehicle-users will be expedited.

The measure similarly prescribes that “all public and private buildings constructed after the enactment of the measure shall be required to have dedicated parking slots for the exclusive use of the EVs and these will double as charging stations to further widen the nationwide network of charging stations.”

Further, large industrial and commercial firms, public transport operators as well as government agencies and entities will be mandated to have a minimum 5.0-percent share of EVs in their fleets; while local government units are required to provide ‘green routes’ for electric vehicles in their jurisdictions.

The gasoline stations are likewise decreed to allow the setting up of EV charging facilities at their retail outlets.