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Increasing adoption of electric vehicles in PHL

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The use of traditional fuels for transport has been observed to have caused problems for the environment, such as increased emissions of greenhouse gases to the environment. In addressing such alarming problems, electric vehicles (EVs) are being included as part of the solution.

As previously reported by the Philippine News Agency, total EV registration in the country for the past decade reached 12,965 comprising of e-trikes, e-motorcycles, e-jeepneys, and e-cars, among others. As the government ramps up its efforts for the development of the EV industry in the country, more vehicles of such type may be seen in the records and in our roads.

On the Department of Energy’s (DoE) end, part of their course of action is utilizing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as an alternative transportation system, which uses alternative fuels and energy technology. PHEVs are defined as “hybrid electric vehicles with a rechargeable energy storage system that can be charged from an external electric energy source.”

Alongside PHEVs, the DoE also launched Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS), which serve as charging stations that supply electrical energy for electric vehicles. ECVS include Battery Swapping Stations (BSS), which enables users to exchange their batteries for a fully charged battery; commercial use charging stations (CUCS), which are EVCS facilities available for the general public; and own-use charging stations (OUCS) for private use.

Recently, the DoE launched two new units of PHEVs and EVCS. According to the department, the PHEVs are expected to run a 135-kilowatt electric motor powered by an 8.3-kilowatt hour lithium iron phosphate battery and a 1.5-liter engine.

The department has also welcomed the approval of the Republic Act No. 11697, also known as the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), which has lapsed into law last April 15.

As stated in the act, EVIDA aims to “provide an enabling environment for the development of [EVs] including options for micromobility as an attractive and feasible mode of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.” Moreover, EVIDA authorizes the establishment of the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI). The act also requires the government and companies to meet a 5% EV quota on their vehicle fleets.

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In a statement last April, the department said that EVIDA clearly identified the need to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel through the development of an enabling environment for EVs, as well as the need for intervention measures to spur the industry’s growth and potential, which includes, among others, incentives, demand generation and industry development, and roles and functions of government offices.

“We recognize that this law will allow us to transition to a clean energy scenario, and the support from all our stakeholders is needed so we may achieve a more efficient transportation system,” Former Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in the same statement.

Following this passage, the Marcos administration recently has approved an executive order (EO) that will slash tariffs on some EVs, particularly bringing down the most favored nation tariff rates to zero percent on completely built-up units of some EVs for five years.

“The objective of this tariff reduction is to ensure that there are enough e-vehicles around and incentives after one year of implementation to assess its impacts on the development of the domestic EV industry,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan was quoted as saying in a BusinessWorld report earlier in November.

“The EO aims to expand market sources and encourage consumers to consider acquiring EVs, improve energy security by reducing dependence on imported fuel and promote the growth of the domestic EV industry ecosystem,” he added.

The DoE has also been progressing in the implementation of the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) system, albeit still seeking to include other agencies.

The EVOSS system is an online monitoring system catering to energy applications and storing energy-related information. The EVOSS system offers different services, including monitoring local energy projects, examining data requirements, establishing databases, and institutionalizing EVOSS operations.

“On the part of the Energy Regulatory Commission, they have also committed to speed up their implementation of EVOSS and to expand even beyond what is required by the law. In other words, other processes that the movements that EVOSS does not cover would also be subject to timelines and I think this is good to have this in mind, primarily since many structural reforms concern the energy sector,” current Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said in a message last September.

The secretary added that the DoE is expected to submit proposed Legislative and Executive Issuances in the coming months, such as the issuance of Implementing Rules and Regulations by the Energy Utilization Managements Bureau, to address the structural reforms in the energy sector.

Mr. Lotilla also emphasizes incorporating the collaboration between public and private sectors in the sector.

“We must remember that the private sector is our partner. And among the earliest forms of PPP (public private partnerships) was the service contract in the upstream sector. And with the risks our service contractors take, our risks are also very high, therefore, we see them as partners in this,” he said. — A.K.S. Brillantes

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