Globe Group EV business unit eyes VizMin expansion

Gogoro Philippines, an electric mobility firm under the Globe Group, is planning to expand its provision of electric scooters (e-scooters) to reach the alternative transport markets in Visayas and Mindanao.

“We're still bullish about the potential of the e-scooters in the market. We're looking into expanding to different parts of the country,” said Gogoro President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernie Llamzon during an online media conference on Feb. 7.

They are currently scoping for geographic expansion in key cities such as Cebu, Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Siargao, Dumaguete, Baguio, Tuguegarao, and Batanes.

Gogoro is a joint venture company made by Globe's subsidiary 917Ventures Inc., Ayala Corporation, and Gogoro Taiwan.

Gogoro began commercial operations in Metro Manila in December 2023, offering high-end e-scooters aimed initially at the upper segment of the market.

“So far we've received many good feedback from customers that have initially availed,” said Llamzon, noting the e-scooters for their smart and high-end features, riding comfort, and ease of charging.

It rolled out two post-paid energy plans: Plan 799 which allocates 300 Ah (ampere hour) or up to 420 km (kilometers) of travel distance; and Plan 999 Ah or up to 700 km of travel distance.

Currently, it has six GoStations where e-scooter users can get battery swaps at UP Town Center and White Plains, both in Quezon City; Ayala Malls Marikina, Seaoil Petrol Stations along C5 Northbound and EDSA near Guadalupe; and at Paseo de Magallanes in Makati City.

Since the company specializes in two wheel electric vehicles (EVs), Llamoza also welcomed the proposed revisions, submitted by Albay Representative Joey Salceda, to the current Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) Law.

These amendments aim to redefine EVs to include two-wheel EVs, and revise the tax and duties that can be availed by EV companies for their products and services. Specifically, House Bill 9573 proposes zero percent duty imposed on imports of fully-built EVs until 2029, along with a tax exemption on charging stations and other components for eight years.

“While EVIDA fueled a huge increase in EV sales in 2023 versus 2022, the limitations in the law exclude, unfortunately, two-wheel EVs from the fiscal incentives. Currently, companies like Gogoro PH actually absorb? the 30 percent tariff. So the fiscal incentives, once they are adjusted, corrected, and rectified, will surely help in the business viability of companies engaged in the selling and distribution of two-wheel EVs,” said Llamzon.

“That drives faster adoption of EVs in the Philippines. With faster adoption, there is scale which becomes attraction to local assembly of these EVs in the country. With assembly, there will definitely be jobs for the ordinary Filipino,” he added.