The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines on Tuesday urged the Energy Department to reconsider its cancellation of the Asian Development Bank loan for the rollout of 100,000 electric tricycles.
EVAP president Rommel Juan said in a statement the department should look at re-aligning the loan to other electric vehicles, which still needed government support.
“We, as an organization and as industry players, wish to give our suggestions to the DoE in the hope of making the program more successful. We believe that the $500-million fund by the ADB may still be used in other EV-related projects not necessarily requiring a formal bidding,” Juan said.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said the department cancelled the government’s $300-million loan from the ADB and another $100 million from the Clean Technology Fund for the rollout of 100,000 e-trikes.
The loans were supposed to finance the $500-million introduction of energy-efficient electric vehicles that aimed to replace 100,000 gasoline-fed tricycle units. The government was supposed to shoulder the remaining $100 million under the project.
“We do not wish for this fund to be wasted and simply be returned to ADB. There are plenty of opportunities in the country for EVs, may it be three-wheeled e-trikes or even four-wheeled e-jeepneys. This much-needed fund could help jump-start and catalyze our domestic EV industry which is just starting to take off,” Juan said.
Juan said the government’s e-trike program put the Philippines in the e-vehicle map, as international manufacturers and suppliers finally gave the country a second look.
“They came in droves in the various Philippine EV summits that we conducted, with some of them even forging partnerships and joint ventures with our members. It was thus starting to attract various foreign investments into the country, with some of them already in place,” Juan said.
He said e-vehicles were now present around the country, with e-jeepneys now plying in Makati, Muntinlupa, Filinvest City and Ateneo de Manila in Quezon City. There are already successful e-trike deployments in the cities of Mandaluyong, Bacoor (Cavite), Naga and Boracay, he said.
“All of these simply prove that electric vehicles already work, can be mass-produced locally by local technicians, engineered by Filipino engineers and are therefore already available locally in commercial volumes…We implore the government to please help us sustain the momentum of the initial success of EVs in the country and help make the Philippines the EV hub of Asia,” Juan said.
Juan called on the department to continue the e-trike program with a revised terms of reference.
“A green financing program could be devised using government financial institutions as loan conduits, thus providing operating funds financing for manufacturers and retail financing for customers. This could be administered by either the DOTr or the DILG whose functions are more attuned to the conditions under which the ETrike Program will be implemented,” he said.