The major players in the electric vehicle sector recently expressed their full support for the initiative of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino to exempt electric buses from the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding program.
Rommel Juan, president of the newly-organized Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP) said that the MMDA policy being drafted would go a long way towards helping the growth of the electric vehicle industry in the country.
“The EV industry is still in its infancy stage and this MMDA initiative is a major first step that could result in a giant leap,” Juan said.
It is an incentive that we hope will cover not only eBuses but all electric vehicles as well, from eBikes to eScooters to eTrikes to eQuads to the now-popular and tested eJeepneys. Chairman Tolentino is therefore on the right track and we commend him for it,” Juan added.
eVAP brings together the major players in the local EV industry, including the manufacturers, assemblers, dealers, parts suppliers, academe, NGOs, enthusiasts and advocates of electric vehicles. It aims to educate the public on environmental awareness and to accelerate the country’s conversion from using gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
On the other hand, Ferdi Raquelsantos, president of electric jeepney maker PhUV Inc. said that this MMDA initiative is welcome news. “The eJeepney blazed the trail for EVs in the Philippines. Its use has grown since we introduced it two years ago. It has proven to be more economical to run and less expensive to maintain. There is no cooling system, no exhaust system, no fuel system, no engine, thus there is no harmful exhaust fumes to contend with. This will surely help improve air quality not only in Metro Manila but in any locality where it operates,” Tolentino said.
PhUV Inc. is the business arm of the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP) and supplied the numerous electric jeepneys now plying the Makati Green Route (MGR) in its Salcedo and Legazpi Village loops. It is the only eJeepney that can be registered with the LTO and be given its unique orange plate. It also supplied the eJeepneys for the Quezon City government’s Hatirang Bayan program, the House of Representatives, the Puerto Princesa LGU, Plantation Bay in Cebu, DLSU Dasmarinas, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, among others.
Both Juan and Requelsantos believe that electric vehicles are not only good for the environment, they are also good for the health and the economy. “In areas where the EVs operate, there is less respiratory diseases. There is also no noise pollution. In fact, as proof, the MGR program in the densely-populated and chic Makati City is probably the first and most successful use of EVs for mass transport in Asia”, said Raquelsantos.