The presence of hybrid, electric, fuel cell, and other vehicles using alternative energy sources have always been quite a minority in the Philippines. These vehicles are often reserved to be a car manufacturer’s school or motor show exhibit for their latest innovations. Whereas hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are already the norm in other countries, these cars are more of a glimpse to the future for Filipino motorists, at least until now.
Due to the rising price of petroleum products and consumers becoming more environment and climate conscious, there is a greater to address the concerns of Filipinos commuters and motorists that travel to and from work on a daily basis. There is certainly a need to create and adopt programs on cleaner and more efficient transportation. Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) has released several standards that cater to the emerging market of EVs.
To date, there are already 45 Philippine National Standards (PNS) related to EVs that include EV safety specification, fuel cell road vehicles, hybrid vehicle, charging systems, lithium-ion battery packs, plugs, socket-outlets, vehicle connectors and vehicle inlets, and, vehicle grid communication interface. Additionally, the BPS has also adopted International Standards (IS) from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
At the 7th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) and Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) showcased their latest electric vehicles which are destined or are already on sale in the Philippines.
HARI showcased the first EVs to be locally available, the Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric. The Ioniq Electric is the most affordable EV, which carries an MSRP of P1,868,000. Meanwhile, the Kona Electric is the first and only electric SUV officially on sale in the Philippines, carrying an MSRP of P2,388,000.
In a statement of support, HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said, “We at Hyundai believe that electric vehicles are the future of mobility. EVs have the potential to address the pressing concerns Filipinos are facing in terms of energy and environmental sustainability. That’s why we are one with the government and EVAP inadvocating sustainable mobility through EVs or new energy vehicles, and we are proud to participate in this important summit.”
Meanwhile, NPI showcased the world’s best selling EV, the Nissan Leaf. It has recently achieved more than 400,000 global unit sales since the first generation model was released in 2010. Additionally, the Nissan Leaf has collectively accumulated more than 10 billion kilometers worth of driving, which has resulted to a savings of 3.8 million barrels of oil annually. During the Nissan Futures event in Hong Kong, Nissan announced that the Nissan Leaf will officially go on sale in our market in 2020.
Aside from the industry EV display, the summit featured panels and presentations on different aspects of the electric vehicle industry. The Honorable Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) delivered the keynote address, while Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Committee on Energy, spoke about proposed National Energy Policy and an EV Regulatory Framework.
Additionally, ASEAN EV experts, private sector representatives, and government officials from the Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) and more weighed in on topics such as EV infrastructure and technology during several discussion sessions scheduled throughout the summit.
It is clear that concrete steps are being made to bring hybrids and EVs to the mainstream in the Philippine market. As the shift to more environmentally friendly vehicles have already gained global traction, it was only a matter of time when the Philippines finally embraces these environmentally-friendly technologies, eventually making hybrids and EVs a norm in the Filipino automotive landscape.