With more and more countries and territories vowing to outlaw the sale of internal combustion vehicles in a few decades, assembling and manufacturing electric vehicles is starting to look like a viable option. For now, majority of electric motorcycles seem to be built in Japan, Europe, and China. In the future though, the Philippines could have a piece of the pie.

Seeing this possibility, the House of Representatives has filed 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.

Bill filed to make PH an electric vehicle assembly hub image

This bill hopes to set the rules and regulations for assembling electric vehicles in the country in the hopes of making them more affordable, readily available in the market, and perhaps even allow for export.

The bill covers many aspects of electric vehicle assembly. 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.

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.

Bill filed to make PH an electric vehicle assembly hub image

The roadmap calls for 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.

In essence, it hopes to set standards for factories, the models they build, the training employees need to receive, right down to charging stations that will make these vehicles more practical for consumers to use.

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.

House Bill No. 10213 hopes to make the country a major player in EV assembly, sale, and possibly even export. Hopefully, the government acts on this quickly and introduces more tax incentives to make EVs more attractive to buyers and make electricity cheaper. Countries like Thailand and China are already way ahead. We have a lot of catching up to do.