The fledgling electric vehicle (EV) industry now has a single voice, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines or EVAP. The group is composed mainly of EV manufacturers, assemblers, distributors, suppliers, advocates, enthusiasts and even members of the academe.
EVAP Chairman Ferdi Raquelsantos said that most of the organization’s members are pioneers in this sunrise industry. “These are businessmen-advocates who have persisted despite the snail-like pace that the EV industry has experienced and is experiencing in terms of uptake. They believe in the technology, that one day, it will prosper to the level where it should be. We spoke with one voice on issues relative to the EV industry. Together, we pushed for our advocacy: the promotion of the use of EVs nationwide,” he said.
He revealed the domestic EV industry started in 2008 when electric jeepneys were first introduced in Makati for mass transport application. “Developments were slow until interest was sparked once again in 2011 when the Department of Energy and the Asian Development Bank introduced an Electric Tricycle funding program,” Raquelsanto added.
EVAP president Rommel Juan said EVAP was established at about that same time when all the credible industry players were formally organized. “We then led-organized the annual Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, which are held every first quarter of the year. We bring together under one roof the major EV industry players in the region and arrange B2B [business-to-business] meetings with their local counterparts. We have organized four EV Summits so far. We have been successful in the sense that most joint venture partnerships today between foreign and local companies were forged during the EV Summits. In the process, we learn their best practices and benefit in the ensuing transfer of technology.”
Juan said he was elated that the EV Summits put the Philippines in the radar of the regional players. “Suddenly, the Philippines took the center stage in electric vehicle innovation in the region. Since then, Japanese companies have set up manufacturing plants to produce EVs not only for local use but to export to the region as well. This bolstered our belief that the Philippines can indeed be the hub of EV manufacturing in the region,” he added.
EVAP is now at the forefront in pushing for the approval into law of the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Bill in both the Senate and House of Representatives. This is expected to provide both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to the EV industry players.
“EVAP has done a lot for the industry but it continues to strive to further develop the industry and to finally leapfrog electric vehicles into the mainstream of the Philippine mass transport system. We invite the rest of the world to come to the Philippines, partner with us and join our EV advocacy. Together, let us take the domestic EV industry to the next level,” Juan added.