MOTORCYCLE brand Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc. is still considering a plan to introduce its electric bikes and electronic scooters to the country as a proposal for zero tariffs on select imported electric vehicles or EVs remains pending.
Hiroshi Koike, Yamaha Motor Philippines president, said in an interview on the sidelines of the company’s recent solar roof launch in Batangas that the company was still studying whether to bring in its e-bikes and e-scooters.
Mr. Koike said that the proposed zero-tariff policy on EVs, including e-bikes and e-scooters, would help in the decision, but said that it is not enough.
“It (zero-tariff) is better than nothing. But I don’t think it is enough. Simply speaking, if we were to come up with e-bike that has a similar performance as the current internal combustion engine, the price would be double. A few percent would not offset those,” Mr. Koike said.
“We need to think about it (e-bike) but we already mass produce e-bikes in Vietnam. These are exported to Europe. We already have the products, [but] it is sold elsewhere. We need to think a lot before bringing these in because we need to think how to have battery stations,” he added.
On Nov. 24, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board endorsed an executive order (EO) lowering the most favored nation tariff rates on completely built-up units of EVs to zero percent for five years. The current tariff rates for EVs range from 5% to 30%.
The proposed EO covers electric passenger cars, buses, mini-buses, vans, trucks, motorcycles, tricycles, scooters, and bicycles. However, the proposed EO excludes hybrid EVs.
Mr. Koike said that there are still a lot of improvements needed in terms of price, infrastructure, and sustainability before coming up with a decision.
“As a manufacturer, we need to think about how to collect the battery because when we talk about saving the environment, which is supposed to be the objective of EVs, there is no point if people start throwing out the batteries everywhere. It is not good for the environment,” Mr. Koike said.
“EV is only one of the options when we talk about reducing carbon dioxide. We are also looking at hydrogen engine and biofuel. There are different options and I think we should be open-minded and think what is best for the society and customer as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Koike said that the country still faces a lot of challenges in accelerating the adoption of EVs.
“We need to invest in infrastructure. There are so many obstacles that need to be done in order to realize (EV adoption),” Mr. Koike said.
“It cannot happen overnight. There’s a region like Europe that is already doing it (EVs). If we can learn from what they’ve done and try to not make the same mistakes, I think we can do it in less work and shorter amount of time,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave