The pandemic has significantly slowed down the domestic e-vehicle (EVs) industry in 2020, with EV registration dropping 35 percent versus pre-pandemic level, according to the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP).
At the virtual 9th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit “Accelerating the Switch to Electro Mobility”, EVAP President Edmund A. Araga said EV registration in the country dropped 35 percent to 1,015 units from 1,570 units in 2019.
Overall, the Philippines now has 12,965 registered EVs from 2010 to 2020 comprising of e-trikes, e-motorcycles, e-jeepneys, e-cars, and others.
Despite the industry slowdown, Araga said that the interest in EVs has not been affected.
From a small pool of local vehicle parts manufacturers that share the interest on pushing for a local EV industry beginning with e-jeepneys, Araga noted that EVAP membership has grown faster following the first Philippine EV Summit with more local players joining the association. The annual PEVS has been instrumental in quickly spreading the knowledge and has become the platform for the whole EV value chain to gather, share ideas, create partnerships, and push the advocacy forward.
After several years, OEM (original equipment manufacturers) companies or the “big boys” followed suit, marking the onset of the second wave.
In the past 12 months alone, EVAP has welcomed three EV charging system suppliers and network providers – IMI, Pesin, and Delta. “Their entry heralds the beginning of the third wave,” he said.
In addition, he said, 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,” said Araga.
The industry also expects boosts from major efforts happening from the executive and legislative branches in terms of policy support and incentives.
First, Araga said the industry is hopeful about the passing of The Senate Bill No. 1382 or the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act. At the same time, the House Bill 4075, the Lower House’s version of the Electric Vehicle and Charging Stations Act has already passed second reading.
Second, the Department of Energy released in July the charging infrastructure guidelines and policy. 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.
In addition, the Land Transportation Office recently issued an administrative order that consolidates the guidelines on the classification, registration, and operations of types of EV. It paves the way for further guidance for consumers’ purchase decisions and for local manufacturers to plan out strategies.
There are also other interesting developments, including the World Bank’s support for the crafting of an EV Road Mapping program for the public transport sector in the country, in cooperation with the DOE. The DOE just already bid out a more comprehensive EV road mapping project.
“These will keep the industry busy in the months to come as we contribute further to these efforts,” he said.
Never to be missed out is the Department of Trade and Industry, which is now heavily working on the EV incentive strategy.
“We have more than enough reasons to be optimistic and have something to look forward to,” he said.