Gov’t wants to lead purchase of e-vehicles to boost industry

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Policies requiring government offices to buy electric vehicles are being eyed to jumpstart the local e-vehicle (EV) industry, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Photo shows DTI undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba (right) with eVAP executive director Manny Biona during the virtual press briefing

In a pre-event press conference for the 8th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS), Aldaba said DTI is in close coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, and the Department of Transportation to identify and provide policy support to the local EV industry.

“I think we would be in a better position to really create a big market for EVs if (the) government would be the first one to include or incorporate it in its procurement policy,” she said.

The trade official added now is the best time to recommend to legislators to mandate government agencies to include EVs as alternative mode of transportation in government procurement.

“Now that there are deliberations with respect to the legislations for the future of EVs, we have this opportunity to include this among the different incentives that we are discussing both at the Senate and the House (of Representatives),” Aldaba said.

She added passing a law will be a quicker way to stimulate the local EV industry.

DOE assistant secretary Leonido Pulido III said the agency has been promoting the use of EVs in government offices by allotting a percentage of their vehicle purchases to EVs. He added the DOE is also planning to use more EVs next year.

Aldaba underscored the importance of supporting local manufacturers by building the domestic industry. She said the DTI is crafting an EV investment scheme to provide more subsidies and fiscal support for local manufacturers and assemblers of EVs and production of strategic parts, such as auto electronics. The program also aims to provide incentives to buyers of EVs to encourage consumers to purchase locally-produced EVs.

Aldaba said as the practice of physical distancing will continue due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people will use personal vehicles rather than taking public transport. This and the increase in logistics due to booming e-commerce will also stimulate the growth for the local EV industry, she said.

“Looking into the future, I think this is really going to be the direction. More people understand the need to protect the environment. It would fit well in terms of policy direction in terms of (the) EV industry we are trying to build,” Aldaba said.

Meanwhile, the 8th PEVS will be held on September 24 to 26. With the theme “Moving Forward to an Electrified Mobility in the New Normal”, the virtual summit aims to focus EV adoption as well as challenges and opportunities of the industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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