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Is the future electric?

Interest in electric vehicles (EV) has been on the rise in recent years. The fluctuating price of fuel, as well as issues of global warming and air pollution are some of the main factors for considering the shift from vehicles with internal-combustion engines to one with electrified propulsion systems, such as hybrid and full-electric power sources.

According to the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), total EV registration in the country reached 12,965 in the last decade. The number comprises of e-trikes, e-motorcycles, e-jeepneys, and e-cars, among others.

The transition to electric vehicles is inevitable. In fact, many Filipino motorists are already embracing this EVolution.

A 2018 study by Frost & Sullivan, “The Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia,” showed that 46 percent of Filipino car buyers were already considering purchasing an electric vehicle. Filipinos are actually the most eager to buy EVs among the respondents in Southeast Asia.

When it comes to electric cars, Tesla almost always comes to mind. It is after all the pioneer for this major comeback of EVs. According to Lease Fetcher, a UK-based car leasing comparison site and broker that compiled Google search data for most searched EV models, Filipinos lean towards Tesla. Its Model X is the most searched EV model in the country in 2021, and the Tesla Roadster is the most searched upcoming EV model.

While there are several options in the market already, and there is obviously interest among Filipino motorists, there’s a crucial question: is the Philippines ready for this e-transition?

Just last April, Republic Act No. 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), was signed into law. It provides for a national policy framework to develop the electric vehicle industry in the Philippines.

A Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) will serve as a national development plan for the electric vehicle industry to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of EVs in the country. It will highlight four components: EVs and charging stations; manufacturing; research and development; and human resource development.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the EVIDA puts the country in a stronger position to further attract hi-tech investments and create high-value jobs in the country. EVIDA will also serve as a blueprint for a comprehensive and coordinated policy direction among national government agencies in terms of promoting EV to ensure investors’ confidence and attract EV-related investments.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) is the primary agency tasked with the promotion of the adoption of EVs and the development of charging stations and related equipment.

Even prior to the enactment of EVIDA, the DOE already announced that it will deploy 20,000 imported EVs and put up 5,000 EV charging station for the next five years. This particular project will cut fuel use by over 145 million liters or equivalent to nearly ₱8 billion fuel costs.

With all these developments, the future looks bright for the electric vehicle industry in the country. But more than that, this shift from fossil fuel cars to electric vehicles is a major step towards reducing our carbon emissions both on a personal and national level. It’s a crucial step towards ensuring a more breathable, livable, and climate responsive environment.

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