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No stopping the EVs

STANDING START - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - April 12, 2021 - 12:00am

The need to tackle climate change and air quality plus the pressure of the different global organizations have most likely fast tracked the development of Electric Vehicles (EV).

The worldwide EV market has been very policy-led in recent years with governments influence through subsidies influencing the pace of the transition to electric vehicles. While initial efforts to encourage EV sales focused on direct subsidies, the emphasis has now shifted to a more “earth conscious” strategy. With regulatory and other structural green measures in place in first world countries like the US, Germany and Australia, the road to cut fossil fuel has never been clear than before. In Europe, sales of EVs in 2020 rose by 50%.

To date, 17 countries including the US and China have announced 100% zero-emission vehicle targets or the phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles through 2050.

But with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the volatility of the oil market, the introduction of the EV in the Philippine automotive market will most likely be greatly affected. The pandemic has left a devastating impact in the Philippine economy and the automotive sector is no exception.

But the sales of EVs have been consistent for the past 2 years according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).  Globally, the number of electric cars on the road has reached 10 million at the end of 2020. The sales of EVs covered the declining sales of the Internal Combustion Engine Cars. Over 2.1 million EVs were sold in 2020 inspite of the pandemic, matching the 2.1 million sold in 2019.

However, even with the consistent rise, the EVs’ share of the total global car sales account to only 3%. This does not mean though that it will stay that way as it has being increasing by leaps and bound with 2019 sales bigger by 40% on the year before. In 2010, there were only less than 20,000 electric cars on the road. In 2019, it has reached 8 million, with China dominating almost half of all EVs sold globally being in the country.

Progress of EVs infrastructure are starting to accelerate elsewhere. Nine countries have more than 100,000 electric cars on the road. Singapore, where the numbers of EVs is increasing, is planning to install more charging stations. The Singapore Government has to encourage the shift to EVs, offering subsidies to those who are in the market for EVs. 

Apparently electrification does not stop with just cars. The IEA reports that the technological progress in the electrification of two/three-wheelers, buses, and trucks advances as the market for these grows. Demand for electric vehicles is making it expand significantly.

Global Sales of EVs are likely to continue to accelerate throughout this decade as the cost of batteries continues to fall as effectivity and range increase. 

But in the Philippines, where no law is in place to entice or subsidize the consumers and no charging infrastructure in site as of yet, it will take a long time for the consumers to become comfortable with the technology. Hence, as usual, we will lag behind.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES
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