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Philippines Electric Vehicles Market

The Philippines continues to develop its electric vehicle (EV) market as industry and government are cooperating to support electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the Philippines. From an energy sector perspective, proposed legislation seeks to build an entire ecosystem supportive of EV’s by requiring the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) to create an Electric Vehicle Roadmap that will form part of the Philippine Energy Plan.  It will include a charging infrastructure and fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has an EV manufacturing roadmap, and has issued incentives to encourage EV investment such as the removal of tariffs, excise duty exemptions, and VAT exemption for raw materials/parts/capital equipment to be used in EV manufacturing.

The Philippines current energy policy is deemed “technology neutral,” and while there has been talk of “green” or “clean energy,” policies need to be strengthened to encourage true investment in and adoption of cleaner technologies. 

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is implementing a Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program, a large-scale transportation initiative that calls for the phase out of jeepneys (WW2) jeeps converted into public transport) that are at least 15 years old and their replacement with environmentally-friendly alternatives. The replacements can either be Euro – 4 compliant vehicles or EVs. There are close to 180,000 jeepneys operating throughout the country that need to be modernized, and the EV industry is targeting to fill in 10% of this potential demand. The PUV Modernization Program was launched in 2017 and is currently in the transition phase until June 2020.  Latest data show that only 18,000 jeepneys have been modernized. Government said that they will continue to implement the Program beyond the transition phase.

In addition, there are other smaller scale programs launched by Local Government Units (LGU’s) as well as businesses such as resorts on the adoption of EV’s. Government is also looking to include the purchase of EV’s as part of its fleet.

According to the DTI, EV players consist of 54 manufacturers/importers, 11 parts manufacturers, and 18 dealers/traders. There are 19 charging stations, mostly in the main island of Luzon.  In 2018, there were about 7,000 registered EVs for local use in the country according to Land Transportation Office (LTO).    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) forecasts an annual growth rate of 8-12% that will produce P1.68 B ($33.6 M) revenue from services and sales of 200,000 units by 2024.  A majority of the EVs in the country are e-tricycles used to take passengers between short distances. Others are E-motorcycles, E-jeepneys, and E-utility vehicles.  Unlike in other nations, the EV personal vehicle market is small and caters to the extreme upper class, making up about 1% of the total EV market.

U.S. firms interested in the market would face competition from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean firms already in the market, but could offer innovative EV technology solutions, technology-transfer, financing, battery systems, and supplying other EV components. The key to identifying opportunities is to develop relationships with potential consumers such as LGUs, and asserting the importance of source/supply diversification. Educating consumers on life cycle cost is important as is after sale support.  

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