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Friday, June 14, 2024

Charging ahead

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The push for automotive electrification in the Philippines is gaining momentum, with the government and private sector collaborating to accelerate the transition from fuel-guzzling internal combustion engines.

On the government front, a recent announcement revealed plans to acquire a significant number of electric vehicles (EVs) for its fleet, accompanied by the installation of corresponding charging stations. The energy department has set a target of 2.45 million EVs and 66,500 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) by 2028. Currently, there are 30 operational EV routes for e-public utility vehicles, with 384 e-PUVs in operation, and a registered total of 7,515 EVs and 563 EVCS.

Meanwhile, a prominent local business conglomerate has pledged to go full throttle on electrification across its communities and businesses, from real estate to transportation. The conglomerate has partnered with a leading Chinese EV brand to bring electric vehicles to its customers, while also installing charging stations in its malls and land estates.

These developments are undoubtedly positive steps towards a greener future, as the global community aims to reduce harmful emissions. The influx of Chinese EV brands in the local auto market has expanded the choices available to Filipino consumers.

However, the path to widespread EV adoption in the Philippines is not without its challenges. Insider reports suggest that EV sales have slowed down significantly, as buyers grapple with questions about the availability of electricity and the necessary infrastructure. One major bank admitted that EVs currently account for only around 3% of their car loan portfolio, a figure that is expected to remain flat in the first four months of the year.

This trend mirrors the disappointing EV sales seen in the US and Europe, where Chinese-made electric vehicles are struggling to find buyers. Reports indicate that imported cars, many of which are Chinese EVs, are piling up at European ports, with some spending up to 18 months in car parks as manufacturers struggle to get them onto consumers’ driveways.

Addressing both supply-side issues, such as infrastructure development and policy support, and demand-side barriers, including consumer education and incentives, is critical for the Philippines to successfully navigate the electric vehicle revolution and reap the benefits of cleaner, more efficient transportation. Only by tackling these challenges holistically can the country reach its ambitious targets and transition towards a more sustainable automotive future.

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