Consumer demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in the country is likely to perk up especially as it will be proven to be more affordable in the long run than the traditional gas-powered ones and transform the entire automotive industry once the proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act is enacted into law, Senator Win Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian, principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill (SB) No. 1382, said the passage of the measure will lessen the transport sector’s dependence on imported crude supply, a sustainability solution that will also be beneficial to the environment as it will have zero gas emission.
“The overarching objective of the bill is for energy security because we import almost 100% of our crude to supply our vehicles. Also, as we all know, motor vehicles pollute our streets and the use of e-vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is also aimed at expanding the country’s manufacturing sector because what is incorporated in the bill is not only the promotion of the use of EVs but also the development of the EV industry, not just the vehicle itself but the whole ecosystem as it includes the charging stations, batteries, other parts and components,” he explained.
SB No. 1382 provides for a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the use of EVs and the establishment of electric charging stations. Under the bill, all public and private buildings constructed after the enactment of the measure shall be required to have dedicated parking slots for the exclusive use of EVS and these will double as charging stations to further widen the nationwide network of charging stations. Large industrial and commercial companies, public transport operators and government agencies and instrumentalities will also be required to adopt a minimum 5% share of EVs within their respective fleets while local government units (LGUs) are also tasked to create green routes for electrified public utility vehicle fleets. Gasoline stations will also be required to install charging stations.
The high cost of EVs will eventually be at parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are provided for the importation, utilization and manufacture of EVs in the country. The bill will also ensure an expedited registration procedure for EV users, Gatchalian said.
“The pandemic heightened our environmental awareness with fewer vehicles on the road as pollution has not been as bad compared to pre-pandemic scenarios. The higher number of EVs could also reduce our oil consumption by as much as 146.56 million barrels per year which is equivalent to an annual savings of $9.8 billion or P390 billion per year,” Gatchalian said.