As other countries continue to embrace electrification, the Philippines seems to be lagging behind. This April, fellow ASEAN neighbor Thailand announced it will go full EV by 2035 as it no longer plans to sell gas- and diesel-powered vehicles.

The Thailand government plans to increase tax incentives to encourage EV ownership and have outlined plans to increase EV and battery production in the country. No doubt the Detroit of Asia believes that the world is heading towards an EV future. But what about the Philippines? 

While there are EVs available in the country, they are not exactly affordable (yet). In addition, there is no solid framework yet on how to make EVs more popular and more affordable to buyers. One possible way to do that is to produce them locally. 

With this in mind, the House of Representatives put forward House Bill No. 10213 to make the country a key developer (and market) for EVs and other electric mobility-related industries in the future. Called the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, it aims to provide the development of the electric vehicle industry and establish a regulatory framework for the manufacture and use of EVs.

The ultimate goal of the bill covers many factors. It includes generation of employment, ensuring the country's energy and independence by reducing the reliance on imported fuel for the transportation sector, and popularizing the use of EVs in the market.

Law proposed to make PH a hub for electric car industry image

But perhaps one of the most important factors of the bill is the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI). Should it be passed, a development plan will have to be formulated to serve as a key guideline.

The roadmap will include developing the standards/specifications of EVs and charging stations, the development of the local manufacturing industry for EVs and supply chain infrastructure, strengthen R&D for EV-related technologies, putting up charging stations, and providing skills training and capacity building for the workforce that will build EVs.

For the effective implementation of the roadmap, an inter-agency body called the Electric Vehicles Advisory Board (EVAB) will be tasked with creating the policies to further accelerate the development and commercialization of EVs and the development of the EV industry.

The EVAB will be composed of members from various government agencies, including the DOE, DOTr, DTI, DOF, DILG, DOST, DENR, DPWH, DBM, and NEDA. Moreover, EVAB will also have resource persons and representatives from the industry sector and other related government agencies.

With House Bill No. 10213 looking to make the country a major player in EV development, this will help the country become EV-ready in the future. Hopefully, the government introduces more tax incentives to make EVs more attractive to buyers and make electricity cheaper.