When it comes to electric and electrified vehicles, the Philippines is lagging compared to other countries, even in the ASEAN region. Countries around the world have been enjoying electrified driving for quite some now. However, it wasn't until recently did affordable hybrids and even battery-electric vehicles start to arrive. Despite that, you're not seeing more of them on the road.
It's not like Filipinos don't want to buy electric and electrified vehicles. According to a regional study commissioned by Nissan in late 2020, nearly 45% of Filipinos surveyed showed intent to purchase electric and electrified vehicles as their next vehicle within the next 3 years.
The primary motivation for such a switch comes down mainly to being more environmentally friendly. In a previous study from 2018, 34% of the respondents from the region classified themselves as 'environmentalists'; in 2020 that percentage increased to 38%. Among the Filipino respondents, 46% are concerned about climate change and the environment.
So why are we not seeing more on the road now then? According to the 2020 study by Frost & Sullivan, it mainly comes down to the infrastructure and the energy source. Compared to other countries where electrified vehicles are selling very well, the Philippines has barely any EV infrastructure.
The biggest barrier for most people is also related to energy source – range anxiety. Range anxiety isn't an issue limited to the Philippines alone but is shared by the rest of the ASEAN markets. The study shows 48% of 3000 people surveyed worry about running out of power before reaching an electricity source. It's a valid concern too. In the Philippines, there are only a few charging stations around Metro Manila. Heading out to the province? Good luck finding one.
There is also concern about the source of the energy itself. Most of the electricity produced in the country comes from coal power plants; not exactly the cleanest source of energy. Only a handful of our power comes from natural sources i.e. hydro, solar, wind. So even if the vehicle isn't polluting the environment via tailpipe emissions, the source of the energy does.
There is some good news though. Compared to Nissan's survey in 2018, the respondents' perception towards barriers to purchase electrified vehicles have significantly improved. The study commissioned by Nissan demonstrates an increased enthusiasm for electrified vehicles across the region.
With the energy source and the costs being the biggest concerns, we hope the Philippine government can push forward to entice the construction of more infrastructure and lower the prices of electrified driving.