By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The electric vehicle industry has pressed for more government incentives to attract lithium battery manufacturer and position the country as e-vehicle manufacturing hub.
Edmund Araga, president of the E-Vehicle Association of the Philippines, told reporters at the first “Nickel Initiative” that industry players in partnership with foreign investors have already poured in P3 billion for their e-vehicle manufacturing operation in the country. As a result, he said, there has been technology transfer and lessons of best practices among local players.
But for the Philippines to achieve its positioning as an e-vehicle manufacturing hub, there should be incentives that should be granted to this domestic industry. E-vehicle is already exempted from taxes under the TRAIN Law, but that is not enough.
“We want more tax and fiscal incentives on the basis of manufacturing capability, number of jobs and on the supply side on our inputs because of the equipment and other inputs are imported,” he said adding the incentives would enable local firms to scale up.
He cited the need to bring in a battery manufacturer, which can be lured in with generous incentive package. Araga also said the group has also made representation with Senator Win Gatchalian for enhanced incentives for e-vehicles.
E-vehicle batteries are imported from China and Korea. “But if someone sets up battery manufacturing here we can do mass production,” he said.
He said the government can leverage on the country’s free trade agreement in ASEAN and the huge market for e-vehicles. EVAP is pushing for a partnership with the China Batter Association.
Motolite is the lone car battery producer in the country, but Araga said that Motolite’s product cannot cope with the huge demand aside from having products with different specification from that of the e-vehicles.