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Electric vehicle program stalled by pandemic

/ 04:00 AM July 22, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) might have to delay its plans for the electric vehicle industry in the country since a slump in business and consumer confidence might keep its 2030 targets momentarily out of reach.

Rafaelita Aldaba, head of the DTI competitiveness and innovation group, said in an online forum on Tuesday that the agency had initially targeted to sell 6.6 million electric vehicles—from passenger cars to trucks and motorcycles—by 2030.

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Around half of these were planned to be made here in the Philippines. To help make this happen, the DTI has been asking the help of Congress to subsidize both the demand and supply side of the market.

Simply put, this would require more than P80 billion in fiscal support for those who would make the electric vehicles and for those who would buy them. However, like all other plans this year, it would likely get derailed by the pandemic.

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“How will this [health crisis] affect our plans? Well, definitely, right now, we are seeing we still need a lot to do with respect to bringing [back the] business and consumer confidence in the country,” she said.

“All those estimates we’ve presented would need to be adjusted somewhat, taking all these business sentiments, consumer confidence into account,” she added, without specifying the new targets.

Aldaba said the plan initially involved about P30 billion for manufacturers of buses, trucks, public utility vehicles as well as to charging stations.

She said another P53 billion would be set aside as fiscal support for consumers who would buy electric jeepneys as well as electric two- and three-wheel motorcycles.

She said this during the Special Reform Legislation Discussion hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, where different stakeholders shared their vision of a future where there are more electric vehicles on the road.

“For 2030, the projection is for this to reach from 12.6 million to 32 million vehicles, and our target is by 2030, we would be able to have 6.6 million [electric vehicles sold locally],” she said. INQ

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TAGS: Business, electric vehicle industry, pandemic
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