BEMAC Electric Transportation Philippines, the ﬁrst electric vehicle company with a full assembly line in the country, introduced its first model, 68VM, to the market and said it is ready to go into mass production, a senior official said.
“Our assembly plant at Carmona, Cavite can produce between 3,000 to 10,000 vehicles but we can go up to 12,000 production capacity,” said Yvonne Palomar-Castro, BEMAC assistant vice president for sales, marketing and operations.
“We’re partnering with Almazora Motors Company. They’re a body builder. They integrate the units but it’s supervised by our Japanese team of engineers and we train our local engineers who are doing the assembly for us,” Yvonne Castro said.
The suggested retail price of 68VM is P450,000 inclusive of VAT. Its battery is lithium ion, which is the same as the battery used in cell phones.
BMAC invested more than P500 million in its Carmona factory. It expects to sell from 3,000 to 6,000 vehicles this year and about 10,000 vehicles next year.
Castro said that 68VM model is well suited for Philippine road conditions and “we know the uptake cost is expensive so we need to make it really last long.”
“Our target is tricycle and jeepney drivers. When you target them, you make sure that the unit would run a long, long time,” she said.
Castro said the battery and engine are imported but “everything that’s available here, we source it here.”
“We are Board of Investment accredited. Therefore, it is our commitment to put up higher content of Filipino products and materials into our products,” she said.
Castro said owners could prolong battery life with constant “top charging” such as when having lunch or at a sari-sari store where you can charge for half an hour for fee.
“You can do that. Top charge for 30 minutes and it can give you additional 40 kilometers,” she said.
“Government support is important so we can reduce the cost. There are pending bills in Congress, which would hopefully grant tax breaks or incentives for the EV industry so we can reduce the cost per unit and make it more affordable,” she said.
BEMAC is also planning to release 4-wheel vehicles by the middle of 2016, Castro said.
“We’re doing our four-wheel category. But it takes time. Our mother company is a Japanese company and they’re very thorough on the design and other aspects,” she said.