THE 10th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS) marks another milestone in the country's electric vehicle industry. PEVS will galvanize action for the development of the country's EV industry through the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11697, better known as Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (Evida). The event, that is happening on Oct. 20 and 21, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, focuses on the theme "United in driving electro mobility in support of Evida."
"We are all excited in this annual activity. We can proudly claim that our dream is now a reality for having RA 11697 better known as Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act. This is a milestone for the industry," said Edmund Araga, president of Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP) in an exclusive interview with The Manila Times.
What is Evida?
Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (Evida) or Republic Act (RA) 11697 aims to promote innovation in the field of clean energy and sustainable transportation.
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It sets clear policy directions for the government to raise electric vehicle (EV) awareness, streamline regulations, boost local demand that should attract EV production and build a robust EV charging infrastructure.
The Department of Energy (DoE) is the lead agency in the implementation of Evida together with the Department of Transportation (DoTr) which took effect on May 11, 2022. The DoE and DoTr has already issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the law after a series of technical working group (TWG) meetings and public consultations among concerned government agencies and stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the Evida-IRR took effect on Sept. 20, 2022 and provides guidelines for the development of the Philippine Electric Vehicle Industry that will lead to the wider adoption of EVs in the country, lessen reliance on imported fuel, and reduce pollution from both public and private transport.
The IRR covers the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI), and focuses on the following areas: development of standards and specifications for EVs and charging stations; construction of dedicated parking slots, the installation of charging stations; development of the local manufacturing of the EV industry; EV demand generation, research, and development; and capacity building, training, and technical skills development for a safe environment for EVs.
Collaboration with Afeva
The two-day event will also coincide with the first Asian Federation of Electric Vehicle Association (Afeva) EV Summit in collaboration with Asean ACE scheduled on Oct. 21,2022. It is supported by United Nation Environment Program. The Afeva EV Summit will fill in with the session regarding policies on two- and three-wheeled vehicles and another session would be on converting vehicles using internal combustion engines to electric, which will be discussed by Krisda Utamote, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand.
"Expect a lot of very interesting sessions during the conference as international and local programs are at stake. We have invited some resource speakers from our network partners from Frost and Sullivan with Vivek Vaidya, senior vice president, and also from Nomura Research Institute represented by Ashim Sharma, group head for Business Performance Improvement. We will also offer technology presentations from our active EV vehicle members from BYD, Chery, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Weltmeister Motors," Araga said.
"All in all, we prepared a valuable two-day event that will enlighten the industry, the advocates, the market and the beneficiaries for having a healthy and worry-free environment in promoting a smokeless and noise-free vehicle system in the country," he added.
Nissan Philippines Inc., which is marketing its popular Leaf EV in the Philippines, will also unveil its upcoming Blue Switch Program whereby commitments from various sectors will be formalized.
Government and private programs will be presented by their representatives and Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary will discuss the EV manufacturing under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan.
Potential demand for EVs
Araga said there is a huge market for EVs in the Philippines, and that the entry of foreign investors into the EV industry will be a big boost to the sector. He added that government subsidies will help the industry's take off.
"The difference in our set up is that we don't have any subsidies. Even the buyer itself cannot guarantee that they have to have these discounts if they're going to make use of the EVs," explained Araga.
Citing latest data from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Araga said eVAP has so far distributed and sold about 19,936 units of EVs, of which about 7,000 are e-trikes, and 5,000 e-bikes. The remaining are e-jeeps and e-bus and e-cars.
eVAP has currently 65 members, composed of manufacturers, suppliers, advocates and academe.
The group's members are also looking into converting vehicles running on fossil fuel to electric, which is a big market.
"Market is huge here in the Philippines. If we can convert our internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles into electric, that would be a big difference," Araga noted.
He also said that at the very early stages of adopting EVs in the Philippines, consumers were concerned about the range, registration and charging stations, all of which had already been addressed in the last few years, with more malls and gas stations setting up their charging networks.
"So, the anticipation of being on the ground to spread is there. The acceptance of the market is there. More people are enticed to use it, especially on public transportation because they feel like it's easy to ride electric [vehicles]," concluded Araga.