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PH poised to spur growth in e-vehicles

An emerging market for electric vehicles (EVs) in the Philippines is expected to help propel the global market for non-conventional vehicles with sales of some $10 billion expected over the next decade.

According to market research firm IDTechEx, the global market for small electric vehicles will be large because of a wide underserved segment of consumers who want to get mobile and motorized.

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“(This is) partly because it encompasses e-rickshaws in India and e-tuk tuks in the Philippines, which has over three million tuk tuk taxis to replace in the face of severe local pollution,” IDTechEx said in a statement.

The company—which holds offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Japan—used a term (tuk-tuk) that refers to three-wheeled public vehicles in Thailand.

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Most Westerners now use tuk-tuk to mean such vehicles in Southeast Asia in general, including the tricycle in the Philippines.

“Even Europe has plenty of poor countries where purchase of a homologated e-car can only be a distant dream,” IDTechEx added.

In this context, homologated means a vehicle that is hybrid or is fully electric, and which has been granted regulator approval to be declared as a “car.”

IDTechEx said that this market that could not afford a car was a potential revenue source for alternative, electric vehicles.

“The $188-billion global market in homologated hybrid and pure electric cars in 2025 is boosted by pure electric mainstream e-cars reaching a tipping point but it is not the whole story,” the company said.

“Micro EVs (such as e-tricycles) will be at least an additional $10 billion dollars in sales,” it added.

Considering that, IDTechEx said companies that are making or that intend to make electric cars or their parts—including major brands—must decide whether to go into EVs as a major activity.

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“Take the example of car-like, on-road micro EVs—quadricycles—in Europe,” IDTechEx said. “Will they increase your mainstream e-car sales or decrease them? Are they a useful extra line of business or a threat?”

The company noted that Renault already has the fully electric four-wheeled “Twizy” while Toyota has the pure electric “iRoad” three-wheel motorcycle.

However, other companies are undecided but must make a call.

“Automotive manufacturers can argue that micro EVs are dangerous, needing legal restrictions of driver and vehicle, thus protecting conventional e-car sales,” IDTechEx said.

“Alternatively, they can welcome micro EVs as a useful transition vehicle between e-bikes and cars and even sell some,” it added.

In the Philippines, Japanese firm Bemac-Uzushio Electric Co. said it expected its Philippine unit to be producing in its Carmona plant 500 units of e-tricycles monthly by the end of the year.

BEET Philippines Inc., a partnership of Bemac group and Almazora Motors Corp., has a factory in Carmona, Cavite, that can produce up to 1,000 units of EVs each month.

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TAGS: Business, e-rickshaw, e-tuk tuk, electric vehicles, IDTechEx, sales growth
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