While the rest of the world has already shifted to electric and hybrid vehicles, the same can't be said in the Philippines.
One of the most likely reasons behind this is simply because hybrids and EVs are too expensive here. And, according to a Toyota executive, it is because of all the taxes imposed by the government. Take out the taxes, and hybrid vehicles will be much more accessible to customers in the country.
If the taxes on electric vehicles are removed completely, the price of a Prius could theoretically go down to around Php 1.6 to 1.7 million according to Nico Bravante, vice president for product planning at Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP). The estimated price was made when taking out the 30% customs and import duty, exempting the vehicle from the excise tax, and removing VAT.
Currently, the Prius is priced at Php 2.249 million, which makes it almost the same price as a top-of-the-line Fortuner. Meanwhile, the smaller Prius C is already near the Php 1.9 million mark, around the same as the new Camry. Considering the two hybrid vehicle's size, customers will likely choose to buy other models for the same price. However, the theoretical price point, which is almost Php 650,000 less, could make the Prius a more probable choice should people want to drive a hybrid vehicle.
The question that remains now is what will our government do about it. In order to fast track electrification in the country, people must be more enticed to purchase hybrids and EVs. And one of the easiest ways of doing so is by making them more affordable to the public.
And with TMP pushing for more hybrid electric mobility in the Philippines, we might see more hybrids (and electric vehicles) from Toyota roaming the streets in the not so distant future.