The Department of Energy (DOE) is amplifying its bet on the market introduction of Nissan LEAF as a step that can help build up electric mobility (e-mobility) in the Philippines.
The executives of the Japanese car firm led by Nissan Philippines Inc. President Atsushi Najima formally informed Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi this week on the plan of the company to bring its Nissan LEAF, a full electric vehicle (EV) model, to the Philippine market next year.
The car company had its initial test drive with the Philippine energy officials on Tuesday (September 15) at the Energy Center in Fort Bonifacio complex in Taguig City.
“Nissan has been one of the active proponents globally in the push towards the electrification of transportation, and for the realization of a zero-emission society,” the DOE said.
The energy department apprised the media of Nissan’s commitment that it will do its EV market debut in the Philippines during the Duterte administration, so it can help promote the government’s vision for “a safer, smarter and more sustainable future.”
The department added that it has been promoting EVs “to reduce the country’s reliance on petroleum as the transportation energy source,” as it noted that roughly 30-percent of the country’s energy requirements are from the transport sector.
“With the advent of EVs, consumers are given more energy-efficient alternative to petroleum-fueled vehicles, allowing them to benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs,” the DOE expounded.
Nevertheless, the country’s overall pathway to e-mobility is still impeded with array of hurdles – including the reluctance of consumers to shift to EVs mainly due to lack of confidence in the new technology because of insufficient information available to them; infrastructure deficiency especially for charging stations; and the paucity in incentive regime for investments in the EV sector.
And these concerns are compounded by the fact that the regulatory and policy frameworks in the industry are still not as solid until the players’ bid for a legislated measure is concretized.
The DOE itself noted that it is still crafting policy for the targeted installations of EV charging facilities; and it is also weighing if certain standards would have to be enforced or it will leave that as discretion for the market players.
The incursion of EVs in the transport sector is among the energy planning parameters being factored in by the DOE on its calculation of the country’s future energy supply and demand; as well as the integration of the envisioned EV charging facilities into the country’s smart grid ambition.
As previously estimated by the government, the country can potentially convert up to 5.8 million public transport fleets (i.e. jeepneys, buses, tricycles and trucks) into EVs if manufacturers and service providers are given sound policy support as well as viable investment incentives.
Until today, electric mobility is relatively very marginal in the Philippines; while the rest of its neighbors even in Southeast Asia are already advancing in this technology innovation realm.