DOE pushes accelerated e-vehicle development program

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country should take advantage of the current high fuel price environment to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption and development of the industry.

The Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday started to conduct the first in a series of public consultations aimed at coming up with a blueprint for the development of the country’s EV industry.

“This is an important aspect in the development of alternative fuels in the country, knowing at the time that we have very high petroleum-based fuel prices,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

“So let us not waste this crisis and take advantage of the opportunities, that the need for shifting to alternative fuels like electricity is taken advantage of,” he said.

Lotilla said initiatives on EVs have been undertaken in the country in the past, but it did not always resulted in a positive outcome.

“A number of you will recall that in 2012 or so, we had the electric vehicles project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). But sometimes we are also too early and at the time, the conditions were not ripe because the e-trikes turned out to be much higher than originally estimated,” Lotilla said.

“In a way, it fell below expectations for both the ADB and ourselves, not because of lack of enthusiasm on the part of those we implemented it, but it’s just that there was a lot of confluence of the many factors involved,” he said.

At present, however, Lotilla believes that time appears right for EV adoption in the country “I think the planets are aligning in so far as this current initiative is concerned, with battery prices going down and other factors contributing toward easing our problems here,” he said.

The DOE will undertake this month a series of consultations seeking to provide a comprehensive and coordinated policy direction among national agencies to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of EVs.

The enactment of Republic Act 11697, also known as the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), provides a national policy framework to develop the electric vehicle industry in the Philippines.

Under Section 30 of the EVIDA, the DOE, together with the Department of Transportation and other relevant national government agencies, are mandated to develop the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the said Act.

The EVIDA-IRR is targeted to be promulgated on Sept. 8, according to the DOE.

“But on the practical level, I also like to point out that we have to bear in mind that even after we have passed the IRR, the implementation process will also be hard,” Lotilla said.

“So let us work together to get these hurdles behind us. And I think that the IRR process is good one and that we will be able to solve on some of these issues moving forward,” he said.

The EVIDA seeks to incentivize the adoption of electric vehicles and charging stations in the country.

It mandates a five percent EV share in corporate and government fleets, provision of dedicated parking slots, installation of charging stations in parking lots and gasoline stations, green routes, and provision of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for EV manufacturing, and importation of charging station.



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