E-vehicle industry law seen driving technology investment

REUTERS

THE signing of Republic Act No. 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) is expected to attract tech investment as the industry gears up, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“With EVIDA, the Philippines is now in a stronger position to further attract tech investment and create high-value jobs by taking advantage of the ongoing global shift to electric vehicles (EVs),” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement on Sunday.

“This measure (is) a move towards lessening direct usage of oil products in transport, thus, signifying reduced air and noise pollution in urban areas. This will also reduce the transportation sector’s direct dependence on oil, especially amidst rising fuel prices affecting both businesses and consumers,” he added.  

The DTI said the EVIDA, which lapsed into law on April 15, directs the Board of Investments to create an EV Incentive Strategy (EVIS) that will provide fiscal and non-fiscal inducements to reduce the production cost gap between EVs and traditional vehicles.

According to Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, the EVIDA is vital in the context of rising competition in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to attract EV investment.

“The EVIS will allow the government to provide competitive and industry-specific fiscal and non-fiscal support to attract private sector investments in strategic EV segments, especially manufacturing, which is a crucial step in deepening our participation in the regional automotive value chain,” Ms. Aldaba said.  

The EVIDA authorizes the creation of the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI), which will serve as the development plan for the industry en route to the commercialization of EVs.

The law also requires government offices and private companies to meet a quota of 5% electric vehicles in their fleets based on a timetable to be set by the CREVI.

“EVIDA aims to promote innovation in the field of clean energy and sustainable transportation while developing a sunrise industry in the country and generating more employment,” the DTI said.

“EVIDA will also serve as a blueprint for a comprehensive and coordinated policy direction among national government agencies in terms of promoting EV to ensure investors’ confidence and attract EV-related investments,” it added.  

The DTI has said that it is hoping to pass a zero tariff policy for EV imports, down from the current 30% tariff, to lower EV prices and drive greater adoption of the technology. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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