EV bill pushed in Senate to reduce PH dependence on oil

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Station Act may help reduce oil consumption in the country by as much as 146.56 million barrels per year and create a $9.8-billion savings or ₱490 billion per year, if implemented correctly.

The measure seeks to require private and public buildings and establishments to have dedicated parking slots with charging stations, installed by charging station service providers, and for gasoline stations to have a dedicated space for charging stations as well. It also mandates large industrial and commercial companies, public transport operators, and government agencies and instrumentalities to adopt a minimum 5% share electric vehicles (EVs) within their respective fleets.

Gatchalian is sponsoring the measure to further promote and adopt electric vehicles (EV) in the country, which he said will help reduce Philippine greenhouse gas emissions and foster greater energy independence.

Currently, the transport sector is the biggest contributor to the country’s total energy consumption at 35 percent, 88 percent of which is for road transport.

Data provided by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) showed that 8,039,233 out of 8,081,224 motor vehicles in the country or 99.48 percent were run by diesel and gasoline in 2014. In contrast, there were only 145 units of electric vehicles in the country in the same period.

The lawmaker attributed the low market share of EVs in the Philippines to its expensive price compared with vehicles running on gasoline or diesel and the lack of a national infrastructure of charging stations for EV.

The dominance of fossil fuel-powered vehicles made the country’s transport sector the second highest contributor to the country’s greenhouse emissions at 31.6%, according to Gatchalian. It is estimated that the overall Philippine motor vehicles released 34.7 million tons of CO2 equivalent into the environment in the year 2016 alone.

“The bill we are sponsoring today will increase accessibility and economic viability of a key emerging technology which will help the Philippines meet its emissions reduction goals: the electric vehicle, or EV. Essentially, this bill is good for the environment and good for our wallets too”, said Gatchalian who chairs the Senate Energy Committee.

The bill seeks to address the challenges in the development of the electric vehicle industry by mandating the creation of a comprehensive roadmap for Electric Vehicles to be undertaken primarily by the DOE together with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Investments (BOI), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

To parry the high cost of EVs until its eventual parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, the bill provides fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are provided for the importation, utilization, and manufacture of EVs. This includes a 9-year exemption from value-added tax, customs duties, and discounts on the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge as well as expedited registration procedures for EV users.

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