The Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to become a member of the steering committee to implement the Php550 Million e-vehicles demonstration project of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), using Japanese technology.
The Mobility as a System (MaaS) demonstration project is an electric vehicles initiative in coordination with the Japanese IT service provider SoftBank. The pilot e-vehicles demonstration project will initially be implemented in Intramuros, Manila where 50 units of e-trikes and 17 sets of charging stations are set to operate in fixed routes and stops. The project is set to run for two years.
Aside from being a historic landmark and tourist spot, Intramuros was selected for the demonstration project considering the mix of people in the area which are mostly composed of tourists and students.
“The demonstration project further projects the Philippines as technology-enabled country. It likewise boosts the development and promotion of electric vehicles in the country,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo.
Currently, there are over 30 firms engaged in the local electric vehicles industry. The industry currently provides employment to over 10,000 individuals. As the government continues to support the use of electric vehicles, the industry is expected to grow in the coming years.
BOI, through its Industry Development Program, is supporting the industry in the implementation of its electric vehicles roadmap. The e-vehicles working group (EVWG) is a sub-cluster of the automotive working group. The EVWG has created its own sub-clusters to handle specific industry issues such as production and infrastructure, policies and regulations, promotions, and financing and resources.
The government has been promoting the use of electric vehicles across the country, including as a form of public transportation. Under the current Investments Priorities Plan (IPP), the manufacture of electric vehicles and its components as well as establishment and operation of electric vehicles charging stations are preferred activities for investments that may be entitled to incentives.
In Metro Manila, major cities have started to use e-vehicles to transport local residents and transient workers. Electric jeeps and electric tricycles are also getting more common in the country’s major business districts and urban areas. The establishment of “green cities” is also expected to generate higher demand for e-vehicles for public transportation.
Electric jeepneys are now roving in various areas such as Makati, Filinvest City in Alabang, Bonifacio Global City, Las Piñas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Muntinlupa and in university campuses like La Salle and Ateneo. Likewise, e-trikes are now adopted not only in Metro Manila, particularly in areas of Manila and Mandaluyong.
The steady increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the Philippines has led to an increased demand for environmentally sound transport services, as apparent in famous tourist destinations such as Boracay, Camarines Sur, and Palawan where over 100 units have been deployed. Resorts and local government units have started to invest in e-vehicles, such as e-trikes and electric jeeps, to reduce carbon emission, to preserve the natural beauty of the environment, and to provide transportation to the growing number of tourists. This trend is now gaining momentum due to heightened environmental awareness.