Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to expedite policies on charging stations needed to boost the adoption of electric vehicle (EV) use in the country.
“The biggest constraint in the adoption of EVs is the charging station. There’s no shortage of brands and EVs in the country, but some people are hesitant because they have nowhere to charge the EVs. So, the biggest challenge is the lack of necessary infrastructure and policies,” Gatchalian said during the 11th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit organized by the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP).
Gatchalian elaborated on the need for various policies to be implemented by the DOE and the DPWH to accelerate the adoption of EVs. For instance, the DPWH must make revisions to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the national building code and the green building code for the installation of charging stations.
According to Gatchalian, the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), authored mainly by him, was enacted precisely to support the adoption of EVs in the country.
Currently, however, only 7 out of 19 issuances prescribed under the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) have been promulgated while the remaining 12 issuances are still in process, he noted.
Gatchalian said that under CREVI, the government has set a conservative target for the country to have 850,100 EVs and 20,300 EV charging stations (EVCS) by 2040. A more ambitious target sets a goal for the country to have more than 2 million EVs and 40,000 EVCS by 2040. CREVI was formulated following the enactment of the EVIDA.
Gatchalian also said he is considering proposing a mechanism for a value-added tax (VAT) refund for those who will buy EVs. Import tariffs and excise tax on EVs have already been suspended for 5 years in a bid to lower their prices and make them more affordable to local consumers.
“I’m thinking of a mechanism wherein we can refund VAT to those who will switch to EVs. In effect, that is a 12% subsidy to those who will buy EVs. It’s a refund mechanism that we are playing around with,” he said, adding that providing subsidies for EV users is a mechanism that some countries have resorted to so we can encourage the use of EVs in the country.