A group supporting the promotion and development of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country has asked the Tariff Commission to limit the zero-tariff incentive to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and full electric vehicles only.
In a Manila Bulletin report, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) submitted a letter to the Tariff Commission asking to exclude hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) from the tariff incentive as the said units are using internal combustion engines (ICE) that source power and charging from petroleum.
The document, signed by EVAP president Edmund Araga, said that HEVs are not classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and do not contribute to diversifying energy sources in the country – which is one of the goals of the recently signed Republic Act 11797 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA).
EVAP explained that HEVs are less expensive and close to the price of pure ICE vehicles compared to PHEVs and full EVs, which have smaller batteries. Providing similar incentives to the units will only slow down the adoption of PHEVs and EVs because HEV prices will go significantly lower.
The group cited that it was common for other countries to exclude HEVs in the provided incentives for EVs as it’s considered “conventional vehicles” and competitive price-wise. Furthermore, EVAP stressed that HEVs are included in the 50% excise tax incentives under Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
Aside from HEVs, EVAP has also asked to exclude electric jeepneys and electric tricycles from the tariff exemption so it won’t affect the growth of the country’s e-jeepney and e-tricycle industry.
The Tariff Commission is currently conducting hearings on the removal of the 30% tariff rate for EVs.
Apart from the zero-tariff incentive, the Department of Trade and Industry is working on a Php9 billion government support under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy program for three car manufacturers that could produce 200,000 units of enrolled car models within six years.
Toyota Motors Philippines and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation have both expressed interest to participate, so far.