Could small EVs be viable commercial vehicles in PH?

Over in Thailand, they’re already being tested
by Drei Laurel | Jul 19, 2021
PHOTO: Mitsubishi
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Electric vehicles already have somewhat of a presence here in the Philippine auto industry, thanks to recent introductions like the Nissan Leaf and Porsche Taycan.  They’re definitely around, but we figure it’s still going to be a bit of a while before their numbers begin to pick up.

That said, perhaps the commercial sector could be another viable way to speed EV adoption up locally. Over in neighboring Thailand, for example, a pilot study on the commercial viability of Mitsubishi’s compact EVs is already underway. 

The Japanese carmaker recently announced that it has signed a memorandum of agreement with Hitachi Transport System Group, a local logistics business, to test its Minicab MiEV in the local setting. The study will gather usage data such as mileage, charging history, and the routes the vehicle takes when it’s out.

“This study will enable us to explore opportunities to apply EVs for commercial applications,” Mitsubishi Motors Thailand president and CEO Eiichi Koito said in a statement, adding this is the brand’s way of helping out with the Thailand government’s electrification initiative.

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Hitachi Transport System Group CEO Ryuichi Honda, meanwhile, said this is an opportunity for his company to look into cutting its carbon footprint and operational expenses at the same time.

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“This study will allow us to understand and obtain more information on the potential introduction of EVs into our operations. It is in line with our aim to become a responsible corporate citizen at the forefront of industrial and environmental sustainability,” he said.

Makes sense. Can you imagine how much an entire fleet of these things would save a business on fuel expenses along? That’s if there’s any company out there right now willing to shell out serious money to electrify its operations, at least. And of course that company would need a green source of energy or else you’re just moving the tailpipe and all that. 

Frankly, we think this could work. The Minicab MiEV has a modest payload of about 350kg, but it has 196Nm of torque and its compact form factor is a good fit for local roads. Mitsubishi says it plans to conduct more of these experiments abroad in an effort to build an “eco-conscious society.” Where can the Philippines sign up?

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PHOTO: Mitsubishi
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