Countries Gear Up for Electric Vehicle Revolution

Electric car made from batteries
Electric car made from batteries

While Europe and the United States have been proactive in their governmental thrusts for the electric vehicle revolution, other smaller countries have also jumped in the bandwagon so to speak. One such country is the Philippines, with new legislation to support the importation and use of electric vehicles.

House Bill No. 5460 was filed in the House of Representatives seeking to provide incentives for the manufacture, assembly, conversion and importation of electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles. This is designed to push for the use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles to lower the dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The current cost of a liter of premium gasoline is currently pegged at Php 59.90, where the current exchange rate is at US$1 to Php 42.50. The price of gasoline and other fuel products, such as diesel and liquefied petroleum gas has been on a continuous upward spiral, with price increases occurring weekly at the least.

There have been protests from transport and other cause oriented groups, calling for the removal of the current Oil Deregulation Law and lowering the value added tax for fuel products.

On the other hand, there are many groups, both within and outside of the Philippine government that has embraced the electric vehicle revolution. The city government of Makati has a number of electric vehicles called “eJeepneys”. These are ubiquitous public transport vehicles in the country that are powered by batteries instead of the environmentally damaging internal combustion engine. Still others have developed, built and even use electricity as fuel for vehicles, the most infamous being the water-fueled car of Dr. Dingle.

The bill aims to protect the environment through mitigation of the harmful effects of carbon monoxide emissions into the air. It further defines electric vehicles as a vehicle that uses electric motors for propulsion, while a hybrid vehicle is any vehicle that uses a combination of electricity and internal combustion to propel the vehicle.

One of the benefits provided under the proposed legislation is the exemption from the payment of excise taxes and duties for nine years from the effectivity of the law. Furthermore, the measure, manufacture, assembly, conversion, and importation of electric and hybrid cars using completely knocked down (CKD) parts of electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles would also be covered under these benefits. It further expands coverage to vehicle conversions from internal combustion into electric, hybrid or other alternative fuel vehicles.

Another benefit of the law would be the payment of value-added taxes for nine (9) years from the effectivity of the law for importation of raw materials, spare parts, components and other capital equipment that would be used for the manufacture, assembly and/or conversion of electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles.