WHEN Elizabeth Lee launched EMotors Inc. in 2012, she was literally moving into “innovative space.”
“We are the first and only 100-percent Filipino-owned assembler/manufacturer of three-wheel electric vehicles registered with both the Board of Investments’ MVDP [Motor Vehicle Development Program] program and the Investments Priority Plan. Our electric tricycles are proudly built by Filipinos, for Filipinos,” she said.
The primary products of EMotors are the ZüM electric tricycles that has been purchased by major companies and industries for use in their operations. Priced from P220,000, they feature solid axles and brakes that are powered by hydraulics, making them durable and safer to operate.
“I am happy to share that a number of companies have already taken the lead to protect our environment using our ZüM electric vehicles as part of their daily operations, industries that include hotels and resorts, malls, logistics and distribution, beverage, garments, food, pharmaceuticals, to name a few,” Lee said.
Among the companies that have tapped the ZüM electric tricycles are Pepsi-Cola Products Phils. Inc. and Air21.
EMotors’s assembly plant is in Santa Rosa, Laguna and it currently has branches in Mandaue City and Iloilo City. The company has no office in Metro Manila because Lee directly deals with the owners of companies and firms seeking greener solutions for their transport needs.
The company has invested P107 million for its assembly plant in Santa Rosa.
Although the clamor for vehicles to be “greener” is increasing, there is still no guarantee that venturing into the manufacture or marketing of electric vehicles would guarantee success.
“The EV industry is nascent. There is much room for growth. Typical of relatively new [vs mature]industries, challenges abound. But globally, the transport/auto industry is moving toward the use of electric or similar alternative-fueled vehicles. As we move forward, understanding the benefits and ease of using electric vehicles will continue to gain momentum,” Lee said.
“How successful my new venture ends up to be, remains to be seen. But there’s one thing I know for sure: ‘The future is not a place we’re going to. It’s a place we get to create,’” she added, quoting prominent scholar and political theorist John Schaar.
Lee also believes that government support can lead to the wider adoption of electric vehicles not only by companies but also by local government units.
“To make this happen, several factors that play a key role – to include government support [fiscal and/or non-fiscal]should be seriously considered. Other factors [common to the transport business]include financial accessibility, more importantly, inclusive financing, which could create a ‘tipping point’ for mass adaptation of the technology down to the barangay [village]level,” she said.