Electric vehicle batteries producer gets fiscal perks

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A manufacturer of fast chargers and retrofit kits for electric vehicles (EVs) has secured fiscal perks from the government for its commitment to produce EV batteries.

The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application of CHRG Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. as a new domestic producer of the said EV tools on a non-pioneer status under the current Investments Priorities Plan listing of Innovation Drivers. CHRG invested Php3.9 million for the project.

CHRG having non-pioneer status means it is granted up to four years of income tax breaks. Its project, based at the National Engineering Center at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, also gets duty exemption on imported capital equipment, spare parts and accessories, and wharfage dues. The project would also get tax breaks on breeding stocks and genetic material and tax credits on imported raw materials, among others.

The Innovation Driver category, meanwhile, covers the commercialization of new and emerging technologies and products of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or government-funded research & development such as hardware or software for the upgrading of local industries.

CHRG’s production facility is part of the UPSCALE Innovation Hub — a DOST-supported technology business incubator.

Once it gains traction, the company has plans to move out of Metro Manila to be able to secure a more cost-effective location, with Bulacan or Rizal as targeted spots. The proposed move would also pave the way for job creation in the provinces.

UP Diliman, as the owner of the Charging in a Minute or “CHarM” technology, has provisionally authorized CHRG to produce such units. Both are in the process of finalizing the licensing agreement for its eventual commercialization. Once fully operational, CHRG would have the registered capacity to produce up to 12 units of fast chargers and 236 retrofit kits annually. Currently, there are two fast chargers of CHRG deployed in Alabang, Muntinlupa City as test commercial units.

Trade Usec. and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the CHRG project boosts the recently-formed BOI-DOST patnership in putting together a public Compendium of homegrown technologies that are ready for adoption and commercialization in fostering inclusive innovation as we rebuild the economy and prepare them towards sustained industrialization.

“We look forward that homegrown technologies like this will play a major part in the development of electric vehicles in the country as we gradually begin the transition from fossil-fueled cars to environment-friendly vehicles and aspire to be a manufacturing hub for the EV components,” Rodolfo said in a statement.

Global sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) defied expectations amid the pandemic as it hit 3.24 million units in 2020, up 43% from 2.26 million in 2019, according to data published on Tuesday by EV-volumes.com, a Sweden-based consultancy firm.

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