From left are Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) External Vice-President Ralph Legaspi, EVAP Chairman Ferdi Raquelsantos, Department of Energy Director Patrick Aquino, and EVAP President Edmund Araga. — PHOTO BY REVIN MIKHAEL D. OCHAVE

Banks called upon to be ‘more open-minded’ about electrics

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

LOCAL electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are asking for more access to financing and loans in order to boost production.

Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President Edmund A. Araga said in an interview at the sidelines of the EVAP’s press conference for the 10th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit in Taguig City last week that some banks are still reluctant to approve loans for local EV manufacturers. This is hampering the growth of the industry.

“The banks are hesitant to give loans. The (biggest) hurdle that we have experienced is on the capitalization and funding (which) is very essential. Manufacturing cannot attain its structure and buildup if there is limited (access) to capitalization of operation and production,” Mr. Araga shared.

He added that commercial banks and other financial institutions need to be more “open-minded” in terms of approving loans since there are already established policies on registration, proper documentation, regulation, and standards.

“They are hesitant because they are asking (about) the feasibility of the project and the return of investment… We never stopped promoting (EVs) to different financing sectors,” Mr. Araga continued. “We already established the registration, the proper documentation, regulation, and standards. These are already there. What else do they need?”

Meanwhile, the EVAP also announced that it is set to hold the 10th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS) on Oct. 20 and 21 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, in partnership with the Manila Electric Co., the Department of Energy, and Nissan Philippines.

The event will be its first physical staging after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will gather EV stakeholders, policy makers, regulators, academe, consultants, transport firms, power utilities, and end-users for discussions.

Further, Mr. Araga disclosed that the EVAP will also introduce a new logo during the 10th PEVS as part of the group’s rebranding efforts.

“This is the right time for us to rebrand to reflect EVAP’s vision of a modern and electrified road transport in the Philippines. We also wanted to reaffirm our commitment to advance the country’s transition to EVs by advocating and supporting enabling policies, rules and regulations to accelerate their deployment in the public and private sectors,” Mr. Araga said. “Aside from the climate benefits of electric vehicles, another important benefit of EVs which has come to the fore of public policy attention especially after the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is that EVs run on electricity and can therefore be an important contributor to reducing the use of oil in the country.”

Some of the topics to be discussed during the 10th PEVS include Republic Act No. 11697 or the EV Industry Development Act (EVIDA), implementing rules and regulations and updates on the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI), encouraging more players in the EV charging space, global trends and current issues faced by the industry, and Asian Federation of Electric Vehicle Association (AFEVA) policy dialogue.

Other planned topics in the summit include the spurring EV Manufacturing via the Strategic Investment Promotion Plan (SIPP) and the EV Incentive Strategy (EVIS), public and private e-mobility programs, and EV technology presentations.