There's a chance electric vehicles (EVs) in the Philippines will be sold import duty-free. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) are working together on a proposition to totally eliminate the tariff on imported EVs, which is currently at 30%.

Do not confuse this with the excise tax, which the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law mandates to be zero for EVs. The DTI and NEDA want to remove the 30% MFN (Most Favored Nation) tariff ad valorem, which is import duty.

The agency wants to make EVs a more affordable option for consumers looking to buy a vehicle. EVs will also make motorists less reliant on oil and its byproducts, and be kind to the environment since it does not have emissions.

DTI, NEDA want zero tariff on EVs now image

“One thing we are proposing is to adjust the tariff rate from 30% to zero to provide a boost to EV adoption. We need to promote EVs and the way to promote it is to encourage their use. How will you encourage the use of EVs if they are expensive? This is one of the immediate ways that we think can be done,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Secretary Lopez sees things happening very quickly once the DTI and NEDA proposal is acted upon favorably. He hopes EV dealers will begin importing models and provide the market with plenty of variants before the end of 2022.

EVs, at present, are priced much higher than conventional vehicles. Take for example the BYD e3 (EV compact sedan). It costs half a million pesos more than a regular vehicle in the same category. In countries that incentivize EVs, this model is priced at just a little over Php 700k.

There's also the Nissan Leaf which is currently priced at PHP 2.798 million. Should the DTI and NEDA be able to remove the tariff on imported EVs entirely, we can expect the Leaf to be more affordable in the future.