Senate approves electric vehicle bill

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The Senate approved on Monday Senate Bill 1382 or the proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations (EVCS) Act, which aims to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs), energy efficiency and reduce reliance on imported fuel. 

The bill seeks to establish a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the use of electric vehicles and the establishment of electric charging stations. 

Under the bill, the Department of Energy (DOE) would be in charge of the promotion of the adoption of EVs, the development of charging infrastructure, harmonizing policies and issuing regulations on the use of charging stations in coordination with other agencies. 

The DOE would also develop and update the EV and charging stations component of the Comprehensive Roadmap on Electric Vehicles (CREV) in coordination with the Department of Transportation, Department of Trade and Industry, and other agencies.

The CREV is the national plan which contains an annual work plan to advance the electrification of transportation in the country. 

The bill, if approved, also calls for industrial and commercial companies, and transport operators to ensure that at least five percent of their fleets shall be EVs as indicated under the timeframe of CREV.

Local government units, national government agencies, and government-owned and controlled corporations shall also meet the five-percent fleet minimum given that the electrification of their fleets shall be compliant with Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

Meanwhile, private and public buildings and establishments constructed after the effectivity of the bill shall designate dedicated parking slots for the exclusive use of EVs. Gasoline stations shall also designate space for charging stations.

The proposed measure, initiated in the Senate, is now for approval in the House of Representatives.

The DOE earlier drafted a circular for the development and operation of EVCS in the country.

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