Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian was ever adamant with his campaign on electric vehicles in the country. And together with other strong advocates of the cleaner alternative mode of transportation, their crusade was palpable at the recent 7th iteration of the Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS) held at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

More than a year after filing the Senate Bill 2137 — an act on the electric vehicle roadmap in the country which seeks to promote the e-vehicle adoption and accelerate the electrification of transportation, Gatchalian graced the halls of the Pasay complex to further reiterate to a crowd of a thousand the importance of the technology in the country.

“This is in a way to push the knowledge to all Filipinos to understand the benefits of EVs. This forms a part of the educational process on why EVs are important to the development and environmental concerns of the country,” he said during an exclusive interview.

“It will also reduce our dependence on imported oil wherein 90 percent are actually being imported. Lesser dollar outflows mean more government savings.”

For him, there are three essential elements of the bill he is actively pushing. One is the government’s responsibility in advocating e-vehicles. The administration’s role is vital as the technology’s full potential relies on the direction of our country’s leadership. Second, it puts the needed infrastructure in place as it aims to further plant charging stations all over the country. And third is the promotions or incentives to be given to the owners of these vehicles. Samples of incentives in other countries, such as United Kingdom and Sweden where the technology thrives are: government subsidy, registration, road and other tax reductions and exemptions. The same items likewise are to be proposed with the Board of Investments.

“We see all of these materializing soon. By 2024, the prices of these e-vehicles will be at par with internal combustion engines,” he added.

“It will also reduce our dependence on imported oil wherein 90 percent are actually being imported. Lesser dollar outflows mean more government savings.”

The devoted statesman also lauded the efforts of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), organizers of the annual two-day affair.

Sound electric effort

With the theme: “Electric Vehicles: Modernizing the Transportation Landscape, Driving Sustainable Growth,” the summit featured stimulating presentations from partners and stakeholders, test drives and vehicle displays, among others.

“We are highly encouraged by the support we are getting from major automotive manufacturers which is a very strong indication that our transportation sector is slowly but steadily transitioning to more modern, energy efficient, greener and sustainable mobility so that we can create cleaner and better cities for our children,” EVAP president Edmund Araga shared.

This year’s PEVS became a mecca for carmakers to showcase their latest line of hybrid and electric models. Giant car brands, such as: Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Nissan were present to display an assembly of vehicles including the Ioniq and Kona Electric, Outlander PHEV, i-Miev and Leaf, respectively.

Other players, like BYD, Dongfeng and Le Guider Philippines also put on a show with their Tang, ER30 and many others. Meanwhile, a gathering of modern PUVs from different marques also shared in the limelight, not to mention a parade of the latest models of e-tricyles, e-vans and e-buses.

The event was also the venue wherein the group announced the launch of the EVAP Academe Chapter, which aims to help close the knowledge gap between the country’s ordinary citizens and the EV technology. This seeks to address the barriers hindering the widespread EV adoption.

Big players plying soon

The future of electric vehicles in the country looks promising as a number of major players in the country are now keen in locally pushing their technologyfurther. Nissan Phils., for example, flaunted their flagship plug-in 100 percent electric Leaf in the show. This world’s best-selling electric vehicle is coming to the country by 2020. Introduced back in 2010, a total of 400,000 of its units have already been sold worldwide in over 50 countries.

“Moreover, the sales number of the Leaf continues to grow every year,” newly appointed Nissan Phils. president Atsushi Najima said.

“The Nissan Leaf will be available here next year and we have to decide on the right pricing, seek government support for charging stations and of course, most importantly, it has to meet with customer expectations,” he added.

The Thailand-spec Nissan Leaf presented during the display is a front-wheel drive, full electric engine that produces 80kW and 280N-m mated to a one-speed automatic transmission. It has a 260-270 km driving range on one full charge.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, on the other hand, showcased the I-Miev and Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle).

“It is the number one-selling plug-in hybrid SUV in the world today. It can run up to 900 kilometers in hybrid mode,” MMPC advertising and promotion manager Arlan Reyes, meanwhile, said about the PHEV.

“And our I-Miev 2019 version can run up to 152 kilometers in one full charge depending on road conditions. It takes eight hours to full charge and 30 minutes to quick charge.”

Meanwhile, the Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) display featured the fully electric Ioniq and Kona, wherein participants had the opportunity to test drive the Ioniq hybrid.

“We at Hyundai believe that electric vehicles are the future of mobility. EVs have the potential to address the pressing concerns Filipinos are facing in terms of energy and environmental sustainability. That’s why we are one with the government and EVAP in advocating sustainable mobility through EVs or new energy vehicles, and we are proud to participate in this important summit,”

HARI president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo stated.


Posted in 07/21/2019