Image via Ivan Radic/CC BY 2.0

THE expansion of the coverage of Executive Order (EO) No. 12, which grants favorable tariffs to encourage electric vehicle (EV) adoption, will help the industry catch up with the targets set in the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI), the Department of Energy (DoE) said.

In an online consultation on Wednesday, Energy Utilization Management Bureau Supervising Science Research Specialist Andre Reyes said that the current EV sales are still far behind the targets.

“The coverage expansion will greatly assist in achieving the targets under the CREVI … Under which it is required that the total fleet by 2040 (account for an EV) share of 10%, which is around 311,700 units, from 2023 to 2028,” Mr. Reyes said.

Under a high clean-energy adoption scenario, the DoE hopes to increase EV share to 50% of the vehicle fleet, equivalent to 2.4 million units.

“This proposed coverage expansion will send a clear price signal for consumers to switch to EVs, which are more efficient and cheaper to run per kilometer, and assist in energy self-sufficiency,” he added.

The DoE rates hybrid EVs or plug-in EVs at 20 kilometers per liter, with internal combustion engine vehicles averaging 14 kilometers.

Mr. Reyes said the favorable conditions for imports may start showing up in vehicle import numbers by 2026-2027. 

“Orders by importers have a lag of one year, so most have already set their orders for 2025, and of course this will also be subject to the availability of EVs in the world, while of course other countries with existing fiscal incentives and subsidies for EV purchases would have already made larger volumes in terms of imports compared to ours,” he added.

He said that what the DoE recommends is not a blanket expansion but rather to include product lines that are part of the CREVI targets.

Jasmin Nagera, representative of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., said that the industry supports the expansion of the coverage of EO 12 to cover hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

“We are looking at a broader perspective. In terms of fuel consumption reduction and emissions mitigation, CAMPI’s position is that all electric vehicle technologies can significantly contribute to the achievement of our carbon neutrality goals,” Ms. Nagera said.

“We also agree with the DoE that if we are looking at the targets, we are way, way behind. So the more that we can do to maximize the potential of all these EV technologies, we really think that the government should take advantage,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Board of Investments (BoI) said that it was not in favor of the expansion of EO 12 to hybrid EVs but supported the expansion of the coverage to two-wheelers under specific terms.

“On hybrids, we maintain that they should not be included, while for motorcycles, we are not opposing the inclusion, but we have some reservations,” according to Elvin Raymond Garcia, supervising investment specialist for the Heavy Industry Division of Manufacturing Industry Services at the BoI.

Mr. Garcia said that the growth numbers of hybrid EVs are positive despite not being included in the coverage, making government intervention no longer needed.

“As for the inclusion of e-motorcyles … the body may wish to consider current issues running e-motorcycles like registration, road use, and public safety,” he said.

“Furthermore, we note that there are already local manufacturers of e-motorcycles, including e-tricycles, that could be severely affected by the inclusion of e-motorcycles in the tariff measure,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said it supports the BoI position of not including hybrid EVs.

In a position paper, EVAP said that hybrid EVs do not contribute to the development of charging infrastructure, which is one of the main objectives of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act.

“In fact, the further reduction in prices of HEVs would be detrimental to the growth of battery EVs and further slowdown charging infrastructure development,” the group said.

It added that the pricing of hybrid EVs is already competitive and does not need tariff exemptions.

In the case of e-motorcycles, EVAP said that the grant of tariff exemption should be limited only to a year with specified commitments.

“A longer tariff exemption period for e-motorcycles could undermine current efforts to jumpstart and develop the local e-motorcycle manufacturing industry,” it added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile