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THE Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) said it supports a proposal to suspend tariffs on electric vehicle (EV) imports, a measure which it said will support EV adoption and reduce emissions. 

CAMPI said the proposal to charge zero tariffs on EVs is consistent with Republic Act No. 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA). 

“CAMPI supports all EV technologies including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). All these have potential for fuel consumption reduction and vehicle emission mitigation in the mid- to long-term,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement late Wednesday.

“The scope of the proposal is consistent with the definition of EVs under EVIDA, which includes HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and light electric vehicles,” it said. Lapsed into law on April 15, 2022, EVIDA now sets the policy agenda for EV development.

CAMPI said all EV-related policy should be consistent with the law in order not to diminish EVIDA’s potential, he added.

The Department of Trade and Industry proposed a zero percent tariff policy for EV imports, against the current 30% tariff, in order to support EV adoption as prices of petroleum-based fuel rise.

EVIDA, which lapsed into law on April 15, provides for the creation of a Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI). The roadmap will become the development plan for the EV industry en route to commercialization of the technology.  

The law also requires government and private firms to observe a 5% EV quota for their vehicle fleets, according to a timetable to be set by the CREVI.

CAMPI said that it is not ideal to set uniform EV requirements for the transport fleet since operators may have different considerations for adoption.

“The EV requirements and motivation for adoption of public utility vehicle operators significantly differ from that of private transport users,” CAMPI said.  

The group added that EV adoption is growing in the private vehicle market as its members begin to offer original equipment manufacturer EVs.

“Private vehicles accounted for approximately 94% of the total vehicle fleet (excluding trailers and motorcycles) in 2021. In terms of fleet size, there is no doubt that electrification of private transportation will substantially reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions,” CAMPI said.

“While there are many factors affecting the wide-spread adoption of EVs, the group is optimistic that EVIDA measures and the 0% tariff proposal put the automotive industry in the right direction in terms of vehicle electrification,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave