It looks like Congress' proposal to turn the country into an electric vehicle (EV) hub has attracted some investors.
South Korean firm ENPlus Co. Ltd. said that it will be investing PHP 5 billion in the Philippines to put up an EV manufacturing facility. This was confirmed by Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito Plaza last Friday when she signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ENPlus CEO Young Yong Ahn.
According to Plaza, ENPlus will be the first e-vehicle manufacturer in the PEZA ecozone. Its operations in the country will involve the manufacturing of both electric cars and electric jeepneys. The upcoming factory will be located in Negros Occidental, which will open opportunities to workers in the Visayas region.
“ENPlus, a Korean company, is (now) our partner in investing in the countryside and believing in the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia. We appreciate ENPlus in their commitment and alliance with us towards making the Philippines a clean, sustainable, and environment-friendly country,” said Plaza.
As for Young, he said that they want to make the country's most popular mode of transportation into something that is environment-friendly.
“We’d like to make a better world and provide more fire trucks and electric vehicles to the Philippines. With this, we would like to expand our business in your country to manufacture environment and energy-friendly vehicles starting with your jeepneys since they are the most popular mode of transportation in your country,” shared Young.
But why is ENPlus focusing on e-jeepneys? The company actually specializes in making fire trucks and fire fighting equipment. Recently, however, they have begun expanding into EVs, prompting their decision to invest in the Philippines. With their know-how in making commercial vehicles, it's not surprising they want to capitalize on making electric jeepneys in the country.
With the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (aka House Bill No. 10213) heading to bicameral, the idea of having an EV hub in the country is now becoming closer to reality.
But will it gain enough traction to make EV prices here more affordable? And will it be able to attract foreign investors in putting up EV factories? Let us know in the comments.