As consciousness over the effects of carbon emissions grows, one European country has announced that it will be banning the sales of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, including motorcycles and hybrid vehicles by 2035.
This announcement came yesterday from UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, moving the country's deadline earlier than the original 2040 plan. Climate change experts argued that the previous 2040 deadline may be too late.
What does it mean?
In a nutshell, UK citizens can no longer purchase any petrol or diesel-fed vehicles, including hybrids and motorcycles, starting 2035 onwards. This is to meet the UK's goal of being a ZERO Emissions nation by 2050.
Opposition from automotive groups
While this move was a welcome sight for many environmentalists, automotive groups on the other hand, argue that the new 2035 deadline is “unrealistic” and that the demand for fully-electric vehicles (EV) is just non-existent yet. There's also the argument that in some cases, charging an EV may require burning a lot more fossil fuel than a conventional vehicle.
Will the Philippines follow suit?
So far, the closest thing for a radical change that the Philippine government is trying to achieve is the Jeepney modernization program, officially called the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), which was launched by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in 2017. The goal of the program is to make the country's primary mode of transportation, the jeepney, efficient and environmentally-friendly by this year, 2020.
Current legislation only provides manufacturers and importers of hybrid just a 50% excise tax levy on hybrids, while electric vehicles are not levied any excise tax at all. Nonetheless, even with these excise tax exemptions, the cost of these vehicles are still too expensive for many buyers to make the switch from driving a conventional vehicle. In addition, the are only a handful of charging stations in the country, many of which are within Metro Manila.
When it comes to motorcycles, only Kymco has announced plans for the development of a network to make the charging of fully-electric scooters more efficient. Kymco's Intelligent Open Network Electric Experience or IONEX, allows the rider to simply swap his or her scooter's batteries with a fully-charged cell in one of the IONEX stations and go. The time it will take to swap batteries would be similar or even faster compared to filling up a gas tank at the gasoline station.
Honda, meanwhile, has deployed its PCX Electric and sustainable charging network in Romblon. The zero-emission vehicles are charged by a stations powered by renewable energy from windmills. However, the motorcycles are only available for lease, not sale.