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Electric vehicle industry targets one million units by 2020

An e-Jeepney going around inside the Meralco compound in Pasig City.

An e-Jeepney shuttle service inside the Meralco compound in Pasig City.

MANILA, Philippines — An industry coalition is targeting to have a million electric vehicles on the road at the turn of the next decade, a dramatic increase from a few hundred units at present.

“Our target is one million electric vehicles by 2020. We are mainstreaming the electric vehicle ecosystem,” Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), said during the 3rd Electric Vehicle Summit in Pasig.

At present, electric vehicles comprise a negligible fraction of the total vehicles in the country due primarily to its high cost and limited road capabilities. According to data from the Department of Energy, there are presently just about 500 electric vehicles, mostly E-trikes and E-jeepneys, in some cities in Metro Manila and the provinces.

According to Juan, however, they expect the number of electric tricycles in the country to balloon to as much as 350,000 by 2020, and electric jeepneys by as much as 50,000, with the remaining half million balance to come from electric cars.

A hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander on display at the Electric Vehicle Summit.

A hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander on display at the Electric Vehicle Summit.

“According to the fearless forecast, by that time (2020) around 20 percent of all newly manufactured vehicles will be electric,” Juan, who is also vice president of the Philippine Utility Vehicle, Inc., said.

Besides an expected increase in demand, EVAP is also expecting to have support from legislation. Juan said that they are presently lobbying for a bill that would grant fiscal incentives such as exemption from excise tax and lowering of import tax, as well as non-fiscal incentives such as preference in vehicle registration and parking, setting up of a green lane, and exemption from number coding.

Juan said that the $400 million government loan from the Asian Development Bank to roll out 100,000 electric tricycles also reinvigorated the infant electric vehicle industry.

“The industry really became excited (after the ADB project),” Juan said.

About 500 participants attended the opening of the two-day Electric Vehicle Summit held at the Meralco Multipurpose Hall.