After confusion as to how electric vehicles (electric cars, in particular) will be registered, the Land Transportation Office has set the record straight.
Speaking to Danilo Encela, head of technical evaluation and planning section of LTO's operations division, there is no need to worry about registering such vehicles. He pointed out that there are a few Tesla cars registered in the country already. After all, we did see a Tesla Model S with license plates around Quezon City a year ago.
Prior to this, there were no clear guidelines as to how EVs can be registered in the country. There is also no information as to how one will register an electric vehicle. The only piece of information available before was how to register 'locally manufactured/assembled electric vehices', which explains why the E-Jeeps can be registered and already have plates. Encela told us that consumers shouldn't be anxious about it if the distributor or dealership took the right steps in importing the car in the first place.
That means the car company or distributor must apply for LTO accreditation. Once accredited, they must have a certificate of stock reported. They must also have a certificate of payment from the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
This is the most important bit: it's the distributor or the dealership that must cover registration if the EV being purchased is brand new. If the buyer prefers to register it themselves, they must get the necessary documents from where it is being purchased.
But what about the matter of getting the engine number for registration? It was an issue before as EVs could not be registered due to that fact that they don't have engines in the first place, thus, no engine number. Now, the LTO has amended their policy to adapt to these vehicles.
Encela assured us that there is nothing to worry about. For EVs, all that's needed is the VIN (vehicle identification number) of the car. A VIN is essentially a car's fingerprint, with each number and letter combination being unique to one specific vehicle. It is typically located around the engine bay of the vehicle, or, in some cases, at the base of the windshield. Decoded, it shows where the car's place of origin is, what factory it came from, the date that it was built, and many more. No two VINs are the same.
When we asked him if the electric motor number is required for registration, Encela replied that there is no need for it. Again, for as long as there is certificate from BOC, the buyer/owner does not have to be concerned.
So there you have it, registering an electric car in the Philippines clarified by the LTO themselves. For as long as the vehicle was bought through the proper channels, tax paid, and has a VIN, getting your EV on the road sounds pretty much like registering a standard gas, or diesel, fed car.