BOI wants to turn Philippines into e-vehicle manufacturing hub

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The government plans to position the Philippines as the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub of Southeast Asia in line with the country’s growing need for transport solutions that are environment friendly.

“We hope that more local and foreign investments will come and make the country their production base for EV manufacturing in the region. Based on industry estimates, if we can have the Philippines as an EV manufacturing hub, we can generate as much as 100,000 jobs in the country and therefore going green makes sense,” Board of Investments (BOI) executive director for industry development services Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said yesterday.

According to Dichosa, lack of financing, standards and local capacities in terms of manufacturing EV parts and components are among the major constraints of the industry in the country.

But given the increasing number of calamities hitting the country in line with climate change, she said it is now high time for the Philippines to take action and develop its EV industry.

“It starts with promoting the use of EVs or e-trikes. The more people gets used to using e-trikes and EVs, the more demand and probably more encouragement for local operators to adopt the use of EVs that would spur demand and hopefully, lead to more production in the country. The more experience that we have in production, that would also allow us to attract more investments to pour into the EV manufacturing,” Dichosa said.

The BOI and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) yesterday launched the P550-million Mobility as a System (MaaS) project in Intramuros, Manila.

Through the NEDO grant, the project allows 50 units of e-trikes from BEMAC Electric Transportation Philippines Inc. to operate in Intramuros. In addition, 17 charging stations were also installed around the Intramuros area.

The BOI said the project, which is geared to improving the environment through the use of a new and cleaner transportation system, is a fruit of the long running partnership of the Philippines and Japan in developing the local industries and the country.

“With projects such as the MaaS, we hope to make the Philippines an EV manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia,” Dichosa said.

Aside from the Intramuros project, Dichosa said more Japanese-funded EV projects are also underway in the country.

“When we discussed this project (the Maas), this is originally for three areas. Intramuros is just a start for now but eventually once everything in this pilot area gets settled, they will look for two other areas where they can also operate, also within Metro Manila,” she said.

Dichosa said initial areas eyed are within the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay and the other is in Taguig.

“There is still no target as to how many units will they roll out for the other areas because it will also be dependent on their agreement with the local administrator. It will depend on the traffic, the number of people to be serviced and the route that will be given to them,” Dichosa said.

“There’s also another one we’re working on with a different Japanese group but this one is for e-jeepneys. Discussions have just started but hopefully we can finalize the agreement next year. For this initiative, we’re looking at relating it with the modernization of the jeepneys. We’re anticipating that if you’re going to modernize the jeepney fleet, maybe we can penetrate a certain percentage of that using e-jeepneys,” she added.

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