Electric Vehicles are slowly becoming mainstream in the Philippines
The Philippine electric vehicle (EV) industry is a unique case. As opposed to other countries where electric vehicles are fast becoming popular, it is not the flashy models like the Tesla or the various hybrid models that large car manufacturers are offering that are slowly weaning motorists away from the gasoline-powered cars to the more eco-friendly alternatives.
Instead, in the Philippines, it is the unheralded public transport sector that is generating excitement with electric vehicles. “In a country where mass public transport is not yet that efficient and reliable, the Philippines is finally embracing electric vehicles and slowly but surely more forward thinkers are realizing their viability as an alternative transport solution for the country,” said Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP).
According to Juan, since the introduction of the Makati Green Route (MGR) by the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities and pioneer EV manufacturer PhUV Inc., there have been steady developments in many local government units (LGU) and private enterprises on the use of eJeepneys. To date, the MGR utilizes over 20 eJeepneys in the Legaspi and Salcedo Villages in ferrying office workers around the designated routes.
Juan explained that the eJeepneys used at the MGR are the first to ever receive the new orange LTO license plates for eJeepneys. “It is also the first mass transport operations to receive an LTFRB franchise. It truly was a real trailblazer. Now, seven years after the introduction of the first Ejeepney route, at last many other areas are following suit”.
“Meralco, the country’s largest power provider and a foremost EV promoter is using electric vehicles around its compound. Ateneo de Manila University, as well as De La Salle University in Cavite and the College of St. Benilde all have a fleet of eJeepneys going around their huge campuses. Recently, Filinvest City announced that it will operate eJeepneys inside its sprawling mall in Alabang.
But it is not only eJeepneys but electric tricycles (eTrikes) too. EVAP Executive Director Bodie Pulido says that Kea Motors, a pioneer eTrike manufacturer, recently launched a fleet of eTrikes and the very first commercial charging station in Bacoor, Cavite. “There are also three Japanese companies now offering eTrikes locally — Terra Motors, Prozza Hirose and Beet Philippines.” Pulido said.
“But what has excited the market even more is a new concept in mass transport operations, the lease to own business model. EV Wealth recently launched this scheme for eTrikes, promising to convert tricycle drivers to “eTrikepreneurs” at a cost of only P250 a day, which is basically just their daily boundary. This allows tricycle drivers the ability to hurdle the initial financial challenge in owning and operating an eTrike. Ultimately, the eTrike driver becomes the operator himself,” Pulido explained.
“Let’s face it. It seems that using electric vehicles for public transport has very little or no bad side at all. The issue of initial h