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Vehicle fleets seen as crucial to growing EV presence quickly

THE government’s electric vehicle (EV) rollout strategy will focus on getting organizations to upgrade their vehicle fleets to electric, while also reassuring consumers about the need to replace batteries every few years, the Department of Energy said.

In a Palace briefing, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said battery replacement, which is required every five to eight years, is among the issues making consumers reluctant to adopt EVs.  

“The President wants us to focus on achieving the numbers by looking at fleet or the group approach, looking at the consumer experience and identifying constraints in financing,” he said.

“We also have to address the hidden cost of electric vehicle ownership, especially battery replacement,” he added.

Mr. Fuentebella said the government is also developing a navigation app for Philippine EV users.

Mr. Fuentebella said the government is looking at the role government corporations can play in setting up a charging station network. 

As of February, there were 181 charging stations in Metro Manila. About 110 charging stations were also available in Calabarzon.

Mr. Fuentebella said as of 2023, EVs accounted for 7,000 of 14.3 million-unit fleet of registered vehicles.

He said the government has budgetary approval to replace 10% of its vehicle fleet with EVs.

“There was a thumbs up from DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Secretary Amenah (F. Pangandaman)” regarding funding, he said.

Mr. Fuentebella said the government wants to make the Philippines a hub for the manufacture of EVs and components, with a target of raising the share of EVs in the vehicle fleet to 50% by 2040. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza