Two-day conference organized by EV Association Philippines (EVAP) shines spotlight on nation’s sustainable urban mobility drive amid a growing air pollution problem.
Air pollution and traffic congestion are growing issues across major Southeast Asian (ASEAN) cities as rapid growth comes with growing urbanisation and motorisation.
The impact, both on urban health and local economy, cannot be understated. The Asian Development Bank estimates that road congestion costs Asian economies between 2% and 5% of gross domestic product every year from lost time and higher transport costs.
The Mother of Urbanisation Problems
Across Asian cities, as much as 80% of Asian cities’ air pollution — among the highest in the world —comes from transportation. The Philippines represents a microcosm of this crisis, ranking third behind Beijing and Jakarta in health-related issues from air pollution.
The core problem in Metro Manila come down to a surging population that has grown by 50% since 2000 to 24 million last year; geographical challenges and a subpar public transportation network that drives residents toward personal vehicles.
For perspective, more than 600,000 vehicles are added to its roads yearly, said President Rodrigo Duterte in March. His administration is pushing a public transport agenda — in the form of a USD$8.4 billion Manila Transit System Loop — to tackle the issue.
Public Transportation – The ‘Now’ Problem
While the government’s massive rail projects will alleviate the strain on the roads and existing public transportation options, fossil fuel-based vehicles remain. According to an estimate by the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), there are 350,000 diesel-fueled jeepneys and 1.2 million gas-powered tricycles in the Philippines.
Replacing these is among EVAP’s missions moving forward. For perspective, successfully reducing soot emissions from 500,000 jeepneys by 80% will result in the equivalent of at least 25 million metric tons of CO2 reduction, according to Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez.
“For comparison, this (25 million tons of CO2) represents nearly 17 percent of the current Kyoto Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Philippines of 150 million metric tons,” said Alvarez.
EVAP’s Push for Sustainable Mobility
The potential health benefits alongside business opportunities is what EVAP has set its eyes on as it looks to address the need to modernise the aging and ailing mass transport system in the nation. For reasons above, it sees electric jeepneys and tricycles as the way forward.
“We can see that once electric vehicles move to the mainstream level in the Philippine mass transport system, we will be looking at supplying the replacement vehicles in the large domestic market of 350,000 diesel-fueled jeepneys and 1.2 million gas-fed tricycles,” said EVAP president Rommel Juan in March.
Under its proposed Philippine Electric Vehicle Industry Growth Agenda roadmap 2014-2024, EVAP forecasts that local EV production will surge from 38,220 units in 2014-15 to hit 69,145 units this year.
With over 28 firms manufacturing various EVs not including component producers and importers, the Philippines is now leading the EV push in ASEAN.
The First ASEAN EV Summit
EVAP will share that experience with other ASEAN players come June, when it hosts the inaugural Asean Electric Vehicle Summit in collaboration with the Philippines Board of Investments (BoI) and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). The event is supported by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The main agenda across the two-day discourse on June 29-30 is to take stock of where EV industries are at across major Southeast Asian countries and to understand existing opportunities and challenges for advancing the market further.
The summit, which aims to promote EVs in the region, underlines EVAP’s advocacy of sustainable mobility both in the Philippines and around the region.
Why you should be at the ASEAN EV Summit
- Get comprehensive, first-hand snapshots of the state of EV industries from five major Southeast Asian markets, namely Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines from the respective local EV industry associations to formulate a clear understanding of the landscape today.
- Catch the rare opportunity under a single roof to hear insights and perspective on EV market opportunities and challenges from industry authorities in China, Korea and Japan — some of the biggest EV markets in the world today— to understand what may lie ahead for other developing EV markets.
- Join a high-level discourse on how to create a successful EV ecosystem in the Asean region, drawing on the experiences and observations of authoritative panellists from the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific region.
The summit is part of a series of events organised in conjunction with the 30th Asean Summit last month. The Philippines is Chairman of Asean 2017 and hosted the 30th Summit on April 26-29.
For more information on the summit including how to register, please visit http://evap.com.ph/.