4 electric vehicle firms to set up shop in Philippines

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
4 electric vehicle firms to set up shop in Philippines
A driver from Quezon City cleans the electric car of his boss on November 27, 2023. He said that a single charge of seven to eight hours of the vehicle gives them 170 km.
Michael Varcas / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — At least four foreign electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are looking to set up manufacturing facilities in the country, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

“As we speak, we’re in talks with several EV manufacturers. So the initial ones coming are into e-motorcycles because there’s lesser regulations for e-motorcycles,” PEZA director-general Tereso Panga said in a briefing.

“But once the supply chain is present, we will also see EV cars manufacturing to also locate,” he added.

Panga shared that they are in talks with one American firm, which will  manufacture e-buses, e-heavy equipment and even cars.

“And they want to participate in the modernization of our transport (system),” he added.

In an interview with reporters, Panga said the American firm, namely EVT (Envirotech Vehicles) is still doing due diligence.

“But we already accompanied them in scouting for a location. I think their first order is for 200 buses to export to Singapore,” Panga said.

Apart from the American firm, Panga said two EV manufacturers from China and one from Indonesia are also eyeing to set up manufacturing facilities in the country.

He said the EV firms are looking at the CALABARZON and Central Luzon area, particularly Pampanga and Cavite as potential locations for their facilities.

The PEZA official said a Chinese firm is looking to apply for registration with the agency by January.

For 2024, the PEZA aims to approve P250 billion worth of investments as it hopes to return to its previous peak levels of investments.

“We really want to target P250 billion because this will bring us back to the peak levels of PEZA during the time of then director general Lilia de Lima when we were hitting P250 billion to P300 billion,” Panga said, referring to former PEZA chief Lilia de Lima who was at the helm of the agency from 1995 to 2016.

“If we will target another increase of 10 percent over our baseline for 2023, we’re looking at P202 billion in investments by 2024. And this, I would say, is still conservative,” he said.

For this year, investments approved by the PEZA went up by 25 percent to P175.71 billion from last year’s P140.7 billion.

The growth exceeded the conservative end of its investment approvals target for this year of P154.77 billion, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

This covers a total of 233 projects, higher than the 194 approved in 2022.

Figures from the PEZA showed that these approved investments have a projected export valued at $4 billion and projected employment of 40,527.

The PEZA official said bigger projects would be registered with the PEZA by the first quarter of next year.

He added that there are two more big-ticket investments expected to be registered with the agency in January.

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