When mi­gra­tion means EV

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - HotSpot - - EDITORIAL - By AJ Bajo

Re­plac­ing 200,000 units

Elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EV) could take up more than the ini­tial fore­cast of 10 per­cent of the 200,000 jeep­neys re­quired by the gov­ern­ment un­der its Pub­lic Util­ity Ve­hi­cle (PUV) mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram, con­sid­er­ing ef­forts from the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor to boost the EV in­dus­try’s growth.

Un­der the PUV mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram launched in 2017, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DoTr) aims to mi­grate the coun­try to a more ef­fi­cient and en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tem by June of 2020.

The pro­gram is phas­ing out about 240,000 jeep­neys, par­tic­u­larly PUV that have been around for 15 years or more, with the tar­get of putting 170,000 mod­ern­ized jeep­neys on the road by the dead­line. Of the fig­ure, 10 per­cent is set to be elec­tric jeep­neys.

Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (EVAP) pres­i­dent Ed­mund Araga said the fig­ure can def­i­nitely go up ow­ing to multi-pronged ef­forts from the gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor.

EVAP is aim­ing to sell 200,000 EV units in the next six years, or an eight to 12 per­cent an­nual growth, in the face of a global push for sus­tain­able en­ergy. In the Philip­pines, Araga said there are about 10,000 EV reg­is­tered with the Land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice.

The fig­ure is ex­pected to rise as the EVAP co­or­di­nates with the LTO for the guide­lines on the reg­is­tra­tion of e-trikes, e-bikes and e-scoot­ers.

“We’re push­ing for the 200,000. We’re look­ing at e-jeeps and the de­mand growth of e-trikes be­cause it is be­ing en­dorsed al­ready by the gov­ern­ment. We’re hop­ing that there would be a big­ger growth in terms of reg­is­tered e-ve­hi­cles al­ready,” Araga said in a phone in­ter­view.

How­ever, the sup­ply of bat­ter­ies re­mains the in­dus­try’s Achilles heel. EV man­u­fac­tur­ers still im­port their bat­ter­ies from China and Korea as EV bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing re­mains in un­charted ter­ri­tory in the Philip­pines.

Ac­cord­ing to EVAP, bat­tery cost could eas­ily take up half of the to­tal price of an e-ve­hi­cle, some­thing that hin­ders the man­u­fac­tur­ers from low­er­ing the price of EV to lev­els at­trac­tive enough for car own­ers to tran­si­tion from in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine-pow­ered cars.

EVAP is ex­plor­ing tie-ups with the Philip­pine Nickel In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion (PNIA) to po­ten­tially es­tab­lish a lithium-ion bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing for EV here, and is ex­pected to fi­nal­ize the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing by Novem­ber. He said the sides are “will­ing to make an in­vest­ment” as this could sin­gle-hand­edly lower the cost of EV.

More­over, Araga said the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try’s Board of In­vest­ments has given its go sig­nal for the for­ma­tion of a roadmap for the PNIA.

To re­call, the PNIA has sought a roadmap for the devel­op­ment of the lo­cal nickel min­ing in­dus­try, un­der­scor­ing that chang­ing strict poli­cies on open pit min­ing could sup­port the EV in­dus­try’s growth. Min­ing has sev­eral de­struc­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, in­clud­ing ero­sion, bio­di­ver­sity loss, the for­ma­tion of sink­holes and water pol­lu­tion.

While he did not give specifics, Araga said EVAP will be part of the tech­ni­cal work­ing group for the roadmap.

The DTI is also com­ing up with a frame­work to pro­vide fis­cal and non-fis­cal in­cen­tives for the man­u­fac­tur­ing of EV and its com­po­nents. Sen­a­tor Win Gatchalian has also iden­ti­fied Sen­ate Bill

No. 174, or The Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles and Charg­ing Sta­tions Act, as one of his 10 pri­or­ity bills in the 18th

Congress.

The bill aims to cre­ate a roadmap for the EV in­dus­try, as well as in­cul­cate charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment into the

Power Devel­op­ment Plan un­der the Depart­ment of En­ergy.

“That could help boost de­mand — es­tab­lish­ing a more de­tailed pro­gram that’s sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment.

If it’s

That could help boost de­mand — es­tab­lish­ing a more de­tailed pro­gram that’s sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment. If it’s passed this year, the chances for growth will be big­ger.

passed this year, the chances for growth will be big­ger,” Araga said, re­fer­ring to the mea­sure.

THE planned ob­so­les­cence of some 240,000 jeep­neys older than 15 years is es­ti­mated to usher in the de­ploy­ment of more or less 17,000 e-jeep­neys.

A CON­TIN­GENT of 50 e-trikes were do­nated to the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines.

GOV­ERN­MENT also sup­ports the use of elec­tric bikes.

TAK­ING up the bulk of the cost of a mod­ern jeep­ney such as the Sarao is the cost of its bat­ter­ies.

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