Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) president Rommel Juan said the industry is seeking for a zero tariff and duty-free importation of e-vehicle parts in the country to promote local manufacturing and assembly activities of these vehicles.

In a press conference during the 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit in Pasay City Tuesday, Juan said the organization is pursuing these incentives to be included in the e-vehicle bill.

“We are asking for lower taxes or tax- and duty-free importation of electric vehicle parts, so, that includes the motor, the charger, the controller, and the batteries,” Juan said.

He noted that by exempting these imported products from tariff and duties, the cost of manufacturing e-vehicles here would go down.

He mentioned that there are 3,000 units of e-tricycle and some 300 units of other e-vehicles that are locally manufactured.

However, this number is far from the average of 15,000 units of e-motorcycle imported annually from China alone.

“We are really pushing for the electric vehicle bill, it’s used to be called alternative fuel bill but now we just focused on electric vehicles,” said Juan.

“We are already exempted from the excise tax. But we’re asking the DOF (Department of Finance), even the taxes and duties will be taken out so it will be more affordable,” he added.

On the other hand, EVAP chairman Ferdinand Raquelsantos mentioned that the government may also consider giving a USD2,000 rebate for those who buy e-vehicles, noting that some countries provide a 6-percent rebate for e-vehicle buyers.

Moreover, Juan said that this year is the tipping point of the industry globally due to lower prices now of technologies for e-vehicles, while major car manufacturers have already embarked on assembly of e-vehicles.

“The cost of ownership of electric vehicles has significantly gone down,” he said.

“Definitely, the world is going toward the electric, and the Philippines, we don’t want to be left behind,” he pointed out.

The EVAP official stressed that aside from being environment-friendly, e-vehicles are also economical, making Filipinos less dependent on oil. (PNA)