It seems the government really wants to make hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) more popular with motorists.

Aside from exempting hybrids and EVs from the number coding scheme via an MMDA memo, the Department of Energy (DOE) is now looking to allow these types of vehicles to use the bicycle lanes and bus lanes in major roadways like EDSA.

For the DOE, not only will this promote the use of electrified vehicles, but it will also serve as an incentive for road users. In a statement, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella shared that this is one of the non-fiscal incentives that the government can provide to encourage Filipinos to shift to e-vehicles.

“The move for that is coming up with ‘green plates' – not the usual black and white plates for passenger vehicles but ‘green plates’ for e-vehicles to monitor it,” said Fuentebella.

Since the special plate for EVs (and electrified vehicles) have yet to be rolled out, it will still be difficult to distinguish an EV from a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. However, once the special green plates are available, Fuentebella said that four-wheeled vehicles with green plates may use the bus lanes which are exclusive only for EDSA Carousel buses, as well as bicycle lanes.

With an executive order (E.O.) that will scrap tariffs on imported and completely built-up (CBU) e-vehicles on the desk of President Bongbong Marcos awaiting his signature, the DOE's plan to allow e-vehicles on bus lanes and bicycle lanes could make electrified vehicle ownership more popular in the future.

The only question now is, how will the MMDA or LGUs prevent this measure from being abused?