Set safety standards for electric vehicles, gov’t urged


An electric transportation group urged the government to set standards on the manufacturing of electric vehicles and key components like motor, controller, battery and charging stations to prevent malfunctions.

The standards are being pushed by the Bemac Electric Transportation Philippines, the winning supplier of 3,000 electric tricycles for the Asian Development Bank and the Department of Energy e-trike project.

This followed incidents of burning e-jeepneys in Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City and in Araneta Center allegedly due to an overheating charger.

Although denying that the defective EVs weren’t owned by the company, Vice President for Sales, Marketing and After Sales Yvonne Palomar Castro said a battery management system should be required before an EV can take a drive.

“It doesn’t matter if your EV is using lead acid or lithium ion, a BMS is its first line of defense from accidental electrical malfunctions,” Castro said during a talk on sustainable energy at the University of the Philippines College of Engineering.

“The reason why the electrical and battery components of some electric vehicles on the road overheated is basically the lack of control mechanisms to stop these incidents from occurring.”

Castro said that the company anticipated concerns on defective EVs and that their product standards exceed the ADB-DOE requirements.

“It will take time to educate the public about the viability of EVs as public transport and we cannot afford to have such mishaps from happening,” she said.

The Bemac official added that their vehicle control unit and battery management system were designed to stop such malfunctions.

“Bemac’s lithium ion battery was tested against extreme temperature, puncture and pressure tests and in tandem with our VCU we can basically control the amount of current coming in so that overcharging will not happen,” she expressed.

She also said that a Bemac EV will stop charging even if it remains plugged in as soon as it reaches its charging limit.