LOCAL electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are open to entering the export market, but they will need government assistance in obtaining bank financing, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said on Wednesday.

“Most of our local EV manufacturers are still concentrating first on the local market; however, if there are some opportunities that are being offered or given to them, they won’t resist on having it on an export,” EVAP President Edmund A. Araga said at the 9th Electric Vehicle Summit.

“In terms of technology and experience, they already proved to the market that it’s viable and feasible and that their units are working,” he added.

Mr. Araga pointed out that the “big question” this time is on the financing schemes.

“The capitalization is very significant for them to pull through and have it offered to the export market as well,” he noted.

EVAP, Mr. Araga also said, is “hoping” that the Finance department would tap commercial banks to open their doors to the local EV manufacturers.

Energy Utilization Management Bureau Director Patrick T. Aquino announced at the forum that the Energy department will soon release a policy on EV charging stations.

“The public consultations have been done on the electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure,” he said. “The circular has been finally signed. We are looking forward to its publication later this month or early next month.”

“If you are going into the business of EV charging stations, you get a menu coming from the board of investments,” the official added.

Raymond B. Ravelo, Meralco vice-president and chief sustainability officer, said EVs will play a vital role in the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

“If there is anything that COVID did, it created a greater sensitivity to health or respiratory health in general, so EVs are definitely supportive of anything in that regard,” he said.

“EVs have shown a lot of resilience in light of this pandemic. Even the overall car market has shrunk in 2020, EVs maintained a steady growth,” Mr. Ravelo also noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin