EV makers say their cars now hog spotlight

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Some e-Jeepneys now ply Metro roads.

Some e-Jeepneys now ply Metro roads.

IN a recent state visit, US President Barack Obama checked out a Comet electric jeepney and, soon enough, people were again looking at the e-jeepney and the electric-vehicle industry in the Philippines.

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This, according to the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (Evap), follows what the group called a “very successful and well-attended 3rd Electric Vehicle Summit” held in February. Evap said it “publicly expressed a bold target of mainstreaming one million electric vehicles on Philippine streets by 2020” during the meet.

The group said the Department of Energy also aims to put 100,000 electric tricycles, or e-trikes, on the road by 2017, starting with 3,000 units within the year for pilot testing.

Evap President Rommel Juan said he is encouraged that Filipinos are increasingly becoming more aware of the various benefits of electric vehicles.

“From health issues, because of less air pollution, to environmental benefits brought about by mitigating climate change, to the more appealing economic benefits that could spur economic growth in a developing country like ours, and to lower maintenance and operating costs – these are but some of the benefits available to EV users,” Juan said.

Evap bared that Sen. Benigno Aquino 4th on March 3 had filed two EV bills—House Bill 2150 and 2151, promoting the mainstream use of EVs and the granting of incentives for the vehicles.

Evap explained House Bill 2150 proposes non-fiscal incentives like priority in the registration and issuance of LTO plate numbers, franchise applications, exemption from the number-coding scheme and provision for free parking spaces in new establishments to drive consumer demand for electric vehicles.

House Bill 2151 proposes the granting of fiscal incentives to auto manufacturers and assemblers for completely knocked down assembly of EVs and the conversion of regular vehicles into EVs. They will be exempted from excise taxes and duties for nine years. For the purchase and importation of their raw materials, spare parts, components and capital equipment, the imposition of VAT will also be suspended for nine years, Evap said.

“Evap lauds this remarkable initiative of Sen. Aquino in filing these bills. We hope it gets approved soon and be passed into laws,” Juan said.

“The fiscal and non-fiscal incentives proposed are a shot in the arm for our infant EV industry. We are confident that this year will indeed be the tipping point for the EV industry in the country. If the bills get passed into laws, we expect that the EV industry will get a much-needed boost as local manufacturers will have incentives to produce and assemble locally while users will enjoy a package of both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to buy and use EVs,” he added.

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