Lack of charging stations seen as main objection to EV adoption

GASOLINE and diesel-powered vehicles remain overwhelmingly preferred in the Philippines, with reluctance to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) based on the dearth of charging stations, consulting firm Deloitte said, citing the results of a survey.

The survey indicated that 72% of respondents in the Philippines preferred internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, Deloitte said in a statement on Thursday.

The 72% level of support for ICE on Thursday is down 10 percentage points from a year earlier but remains the highest in the region, ahead of Indonesia (59%), and Vietnam (49%), according to the company’s 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study.

Only 25% of respondents in the Philippines indicated interest in EVs. The highest level of interest was recorded in Singapore (62%) and Thailand (60%).

According to Deloitte, the study was conducted between September and October and involved over 26,000 consumers in 24 locations including Southeast Asia. At least 1,000 responses were incorporated into the study for each country in the region.

Fredieric B. Landicho, Deloitte Philippines managing partner and chief executive officer, said the survey results showed that there is a need for “robust infrastructure” to support EVs before expecting consumers to make the switch.

“We’re not just talking about convenient charging sites. We have to consider if we have the right workforce to service these vehicles wherever the owners may need that assistance,” Mr. Landicho said. 

The Philippines has been pushing for increased EV adoption following the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 12 in January, which reduced the tariff on certain EVs to zero for five years to make prices more accessible.

The vehicles covered by the order are cars, buses, vans, trucks, kick scooters, self-balancing cycles, bicycles, and pocket motorcycles with auxiliary motors not exceeding 250 watts and with a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour. Excluded from the EO were electric motorcycles, which remain subject to the 30% tariff.   

Republic Act No. 11697 or the EV Industry Development Act, lapsed into law in April 2022. The law requires vehicle fleet owners, including the government, to observe a 5% EV quota. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave