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    Posted May 8, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Eye on the Philippines

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    Has the electric vehicle gained a foothold in the Philippines?

    The last few years have seen the Philippines as some sort of a trendsetter for electric vehicles (EV) in the region. But it is not because it has the latest high-tech EV technology but because of the numerous initiatives, mostly by the private sector, towards the promotion of electric vehicles. Most of these were advocacies spurred by the desire for clean air and the protection of the environment.

    A non-government organization, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), started the electric jeepney (eJeepney) program in the country in 2007 under its Climate Friendly Cities Program. The Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) and PhUV Inc. stepped in by being the first to locally design, fabricate,assemble and mass produce the eJeepneys for iCSC and other markets.

    Reina Garcia of iCSC proudly says that today, iCSC’s Makati Green Route initiative which operates in three loops is the very first mass transport application of the EV. “Our eJeepneys were also the very first to receive the LTO orange license plate for EV's and the LTFRB franchise for EV's to operate as public-utility vehicles”.

    Ferdi Raquelsantos, president of both MVPMAP and PhUV Inc. says that eJeepneys can be now found in Pasig, Quezon City, Cebu, Bicol, Los Banos, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Batangas, Palawan, Ilocos region, Boracay and other urban areas. “And we continue to locally design and assemble eJeepneys to a niche market of transport and shuttle service operators”.

    Many initiatives on the use of the electric tricycles (eTrikes) were also undertaken in Taguig, Surigao, Puerto Princesa, Boracay and Mandaluyong.

    Meralco, on the other hand, is showcasing the feasibility of using eShuttles and electric quadricycles (eQuads) for the shuttling needs of its employees, visitors, and customers in the Meralco compound in Ortigas.

    Just recently, Victory Liner brought in the very first electric bus (eBus) in the country. Collectively, there are now about 400 EVs all over the archipelago.

    This initial success has attracted numerous players into this new “green” industry. Phil Etro EV Inc. makes electric tricycles while Alternative Modern Transport has branched out from eTrikes to eJeepneys as well.

    It is in this light that the Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines (EVAP) was recently organized to unify the various players in the EV industry and collectively promote awareness and use of EVs in the Philippines.

    EVAP president Rommel Juan says that EVAP is slowly gaining momentum just as interest in the EV has grown not only locally but globally as well. “Since the introduction of various initiatives, we have seen the steady growth of EV membership. It now represents about 90% of the EV players in the country composed of manufacturers, assemblers, importers, suppliers,dealers, operators, members of the academe and individual enthusiasts”.

    “Our various initiatives have spurred the government to take a more serious look at the EV industry. Congress has recently approved a bill seeking to provide incentives not only to EV players but to EV users as well. We are just waiting for Senate to approve its own version of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Bill sponsored by Sen. Ralph Recto to finally have a law that formalizes government support for the EV industry. The local EV industry therefore urges the Philippine Senate to ensure the country's transition to sustainable transport moves full speed ahead by passing the AFV bill in the soonest possible time”, he says.

    Several international financial institutions and agencies have already signified their interest in the development of the electric vehicle industry and the scale-up of sustainable transport initiatives all over the country.

    EVAP just recently also joined forces with other like-minded NGOs such as iCSC and Partnership for Clean Air (PCA), and power company Meralco, to form the Electric Vehicle Alliance to organize the second EV Summit on May 24-25, 2012 at the Meralco Multipurpose Hall in Pasig City. This is being supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan, and various entities in and out of the local EV industry.

    Vicky Segovia of the PCA says that the EV Summit 2012 will update the local EV industry where we are, what we have, and what we plan to do to bring the EV industry to the next level. “The EV Summit wishes to bring together once again all the players in the EV industry together with the academe and government entities that could be of help to the industry. This is so that together, we can map out the progress and chart the direction of this green industry."

    “The EV Summit 2012 will also bring in foreign delegates and EV industry players from Taiwan, Korea and Japan for them to share their best practices with us, and for us to match them with local players to push the local EV industry further”, she concludes.

    Those interested to attend the 2nd EV Summit, please contact the Partnership for Clean Air at tel. #395-7149, Mobile phone #0916-2925837 or email: pcasecretariat2012@gmail.com.
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