Consider more sustainable motoring

Make the shift for a better world

There’s no denying that global warming is happening. Its effects are beginning to manifest in more frequent and intense typhoons, heavier torrential rain, and extreme heat waves. Many have pointed to our growing carbon emissions as the culprit, with exhaust from industrial operations and vehicle emissions as the biggest contributor.

Living in a country like the Philippines on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, we’re especially exposed to these natural phenomena more than most nations. As such it’s more prudent for us to take the first steps towards reducing our carbon footprint in order to counteract these impending calamities.

Reducing one’s carbon footprint may seem like a daunting task, yet little steps like being more conscientious about the way we drive or opting for a more efficient and lower emissions vehicle can go really far.

In this special section, we go over the many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint through the way you drive and the vehicle you use to commute. We’ll go over the many new, lower- if not zero-emissions vehicles now available that will allow you to drive guilt-free; as well as the benefits of making the shift to an electrified vehicle.

What’s the difference?

For those that are unfamiliar, an electrified vehicle encompasses a variety of propulsion systems. These are cars that use either a gasoline-electric hybrid system or a fully-electric system to propel the car. Naturally, hybrids still need fuel, but don’t suffer from a limited range because the engine can take over when the batteries run out. Fully-electric vehicles are dependent on the battery, but by contrast have zero emissions and offer a completely quiet driving experience.

Favorable circumstances

Besides saving the environment, the fluctuating price of fuel should be reason enough to make the shift. The current Russia-Ukraine conflict and many other occurrences around the globe are already having an effect on fuel prices, causing it to see saw from low to high every couple of weeks. Making the shift to a hybrid or electric vehicle can greatly reduce your fuel expenses as they boast of lower fuel consumption and greater mileage with every fill up at the gas station.

The government is also providing many more incentives for motorists to make the shift. Easily the most recent and critical development is the passing of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) law. Conceived to hasten the adoption of electric vehicles as well as to develop an electric vehicle industry in the company, this law provides for certain tax exemptions and several non-fiscal incentives for distributors and buyers of these cars.

For consumers, this law makes hybrid and electric vehicles exempt from certain import and excise taxes, lowering their price to make them more appealing to the buying public. Besides the price, buyers can also enjoy some of the non-fiscal incentives, which includes number coding exemption. They also get to use the express lane when renewing the registration of their vehicle. In the future, the government also aims to provide special plates to further distinguish these vehicles from those with combustion engines.

If you have a plug-in or fully electric vehicle, finding a charging station is becoming less of a problem. Many malls and fuel stations have recently set up EV charging stations to ease worries about battery range anxiety. Expect designated charging stations and parking spots in major SM, Robinsons, and Ayala malls in Metro Manila. There are already locations out of town too, such as Shell Mamplasan, Unioil Subic, and ACEA Resort in Subic.

Wider availability

If these all sound appealing to you, the only decision left is which vehicle to choose. Currently, Toyota offers five hybrid models on sale, while it luxury brand, Lexus, offers as many as six. Nearly every automaker has a hybrid on sale, beginning with the very affordable Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid starting at P954,000 to the luxurious Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar hybrids and electric vehicles on the other end of the price range.

It’s high time to start considering more sustainable means of motoring. The good news is, there’s more reasons to make the shift these days.

There's more to read up on and we've compiled some quick links for you below:

Hybrid vs full electric: what's the difference?

What electrified cars can you buy now?

Fuel-saving features to look out for

Driving a hybrid

Driving a battery electric vehicle

Where to charge