DoE endorses plan to import 20,000 electric cars to Board of Investments

REUTERS

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy said it has endorsed a P2.5-billion investment project that would bring in 20,000 imported electric vehicles.

The department endorsed the project to the Board of Investments (BoI). If approved, it would increase the electric vehicle fleet in the Philippines and result in the establishment of up to 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations within five years.

“When completed, the project is expected to help contribute to the reduction of as much 145.02 million liters of fuel. This is equivalent to at most a P7.99 billion reduction from fuel costs,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said at an electric vehicle forum Thursday.

Patrick T. Aquino, Energy Utilization Management Bureau director, said in an e-mail that the project proponent is Century Peak Energy Corp.

The BoI has not disclosed any updated investment data beyond the P2.5 billion stated in the initial project proposal.

Mr. Cusi at the virtual event said the department is looking forward to more projects that will accelerate the shift to electric vehicles.

“Our success depends on a strong public-private collaboration, and I’m confident that together we can make this happen,” he said.

He also suggested that electric vehicles could be used to transport frontline workers.

“Not only would it be a greener transport alternative in terms of zero noise and smoke emissions, but it would also pave the way for sectoral job creation that would definitely help reenergize our economy.”

Electric vehicle registrations fell 35% to 1,015 in 2020 from 1,570 in 2019, Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines President Edmund A. Araga said at the same event.

A Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) research specialist said in July that shortcomings in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and manufacturing technology have left the Philippines behind in the regional competition for trade and investment.

The Philippines must prepare for increased investment competition in Asia as the electric vehicle value chain grows larger, PIDS Supervising Research Specialist Maureen D. Rosellon said. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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