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Everything you need to know about the PH Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act

The game-changer we’ve been waiting for?
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Earlier this month, Republic Act no. 11697 finally lapsed into law without President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature. Better known as the country’s Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, it’s being heralded by its proponents as a possible game-changer in the fight to clean up the local transportation sector.

Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act lapses into law

But what exactly is it? Yes, it’s supposed to get the local electric vehicle (EV) industry up to speed with the rest of the world. To know exactly what the law has in store for regular motorists like yourselves, though? You’ll have to go through it in its entirety—which we’re guessing many of you don’t have the patience for.

Thankfully, we’ve summed up the most important bits of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act for you below. Read up, and let us know in the comments how this law will affect your day-to-day motoring experience, if at all.

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In a nutshell

Republic Act no. 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, includes a long list of goals. To make a long story short, its aim is to make Philippine transportation as a whole a more conducive environment for the development and use of EVs. The hope is that with mass adoption, more jobs will be generated, a new industry will blossom, and Filipinos will be healthier and better protected from the greenhouse effect.

The gameplan

Under the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, a national development plan for the local EV industry must be adhered to in order to accelerate EV adoption, commercialization, and development. This is referred to as the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI).

Some of the most important bits the CREVI will cover include the development and installation of EV charging stations, the dedication of parking slots to EVs, manufacturing standards for EVs and EV-related components, as well as the overall promotion and adoption of EVs.

Number coding scheme exemption

Throw out that plan to buy a second car just to avoid the number coding scheme. Instead, why not just switch over to an EV? Yes, that’s right. EVs will be exempted from the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program. To be clear, this exempts EVs from both enforcement by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units that implement number coding (looking at you, Makati City). What’s more, EVs will be issued a special type of license plate by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Registration perks

Penny pinchers may want to jump on the bandwagon as soon as prices go down, because EV users are in for some sizable discounts when registering their vehicle with the LTO.

Under the CREVI, battery electric vehicle (BEV) owners are entitled to a 30% discount on the motor vehicle users charge (MVUC), while hybrid owners get 15% off. What’s more, BEV and hybrid users will have the registration process expedited for them. These discounts will also apply to EV and hybrid inspection fees for the first eight years of this Act’s effectivity.

Speaking of expediting stuff

Public utility vehicle (PUV) operators with EV units will also have their franchise applications expedited by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The same goes for EV importers and manufacturers bringing in units through the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

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Dedicated parking slots for EVs

Under the CREVI, all private and public buildings must have parking slots dedicated to EVs. If a building has 20 or more parking slots, at least 5% of them must be exclusive to EVs. This applies to all new buildings constructed after the Act’s effectivity, as well as existing ones (which will be given a timeline to comply with the requirement). Any establishment that fails to comply with this requirement may be denied permits.

Fleet requirements

Under the CREVI, industrial and commercial entities like logistics companies, tour agencies, hotels, and utility companies are required to have EVs comprise at least 5% of their fleets. The same goes for PUV operators, transport network vehicle service operators like Grab, as well as LGUs and government agencies. A timeline will be provided for compliance with this requirement.

Gas station EV chargers

Under the CREVI, some gas stations will be required to provide designated spaces for the installation of commercial chargers for public use. Installation, maintenance, and operation will be handled by either the owner or a charging station service provider, though the latter will be given priority. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the non-issuance of permits.

‘Green Routes’ for PUVs

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be responsible for approving ‘Green Routes’ to be included in the LTFRB’s route plans for provinces, cities, and municipalities. These are routes that will be exclusively traversed by electric PUVs.

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Excise tax exemptions

According to the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, the importation of completely built EVs shall be entitled to tax incentives under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. This should mean that hybrids will only be subject to 50% of applicable excise taxes, while full EVs will be exempt from excise taxes on automobiles altogether. The catch is that the Department of Finance (DOF) may suspend these exemptions “in order to protect local manufacturers.”

The importation of completely built EV charging stations, meanwhile, will be exempt from the payment of duties for the first eight years from this Act’s effectivity.

Also worth noting is that under this Act, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be tasked with encouraging banks to lend a certain percentage of their portfolio to EV manufacturers, assemblers, and charging station operators.

EV personnel development

The country’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will provide training programs for the assembly, use, maintenance, and repair of EVs.

Implementing rules and regulations (IRR)

None yet, which means we’re still a while off from the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act becoming a real solid piece of enforceable legislation. The DOTr, Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with other relevant government agencies and private stakeholders, must produce the (IRR) for this act within 120 days of its effectivity.

Oh, and “failure of the relevant government agencies to promulgate the IRR within the specified period shall subject the heads of these government agencies to administrative penalties under applicable civil service laws.”

Fines and penalties

Violators of this act may be fined between P50,000 to P500,000 and may face the suspension or revocation of relevant permits. We’ll have to wait for this law’s IRR, though, before diving any deeper into this.

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