DTI expects Philippines to emerge as new EVs, batteries mfg hub in region

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The partnership between Ayala-led Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) and California-based Zero Motorcycles for assembly of electric motorcycles and other related sub-assemblies positions the Philippines as an export manufacturing hub for electric batteries and vehicles in the region, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“With this investment, we will be better positioned as an export manufacturing hub for electric batteries and vehicles in the region. This partnership between IMI and Zero Motors is a testament to the expertise and capabilities of our local manufacturing sector,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

During his visit to the US on May 1, President Marcos along with Pascual, witnessed the signing of the cooperation agreement between IMI and Zero Motorcycles, a global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains.

Under the agreement, Zero Motorcycles has agreed to subcontract to IMI its electric motorcycle assembly and other related sub-assemblies, such as battery and motor assembly.

According to the DTI, the agreement projects an annual revenue of $65 million and investments of $250 million over the next five years.

It said this venture would generate at least 200 new jobs for Filipinos in high end and high performance motorcycle manufacturing.

Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, IMI is expected to provide the needed manufacturing facility in the Philippines.

Currently, IMI’s headquarters are located in Biñan, Laguna, where they operate as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in diversified sectors that include automotive, industrial, medical, telecommunications infrastructure, storage devices, and consumer electronics.

Zero Motorcycles and IMI have agreed on a preliminary timetable with the goal of starting mass production by June 2023.

“The IMI-ZERO facility that will be set up in Laguna will be assembling full electric motorcycles for Zero’s Europe, Asia, and other markets,” it said.

The cooperation agreement between IMI and Zero Motorcycles was signed by AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Zero Motorcycles CEO Sam Paschel.

IMI is the manufacturing arm of AC Industrial Technology Holdings. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corp. and is among the leading global technology and manufacturing solutions experts in the world.

Moreover, with the enactment of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), the DTI said the government, through the Board of Investments (BOI), aims to narrow the cost gap between traditional vehicles and EVs to increase market demand.

“Further, the law provides for the creation of the Electric Vehicle Incentive Strategy (EVIS) that will provide more incentives for EV-related investments to help establish an enabling environment for the said sector,” the DTI said.

In a separate statement yesterday, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVaP) said that it has been pushing for all EVs to be zero tariff, including two-wheel vehicles, except for e-Jeeps and e-Trikes, which have local manufacturing and assembly in the country.

EVaP president Edmund Araga pointed out that this move would not only benefit consumers by making EVs more affordable, but it would also help the country achieve its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. – Alexis Romero

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