On May 19, Japan handed over 24 hybrid Toyota Prius cars to the Philippines government. They were part of 81 vehicles to be delivered in three batches — 77 units of hybrid technology vehicles, 4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) and 4 units of EVs with charging stations.
According to Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, the vehicles will add emphasis to the government’s call to public servants to look towards energy-efficient (EE) technologies, especially for official vehicles.
“We have to be the role models in this cause, so our people can look up to us and follow our lead,” said Secretary Cusi.
The vehicles are funded by Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) in a 500 million yen (USD$4.52 million) package. According to the Japanese Embassy’s statement, the vehicles will be used by selected Philippine government agencies.
Among those that will use them are the Office of the President, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Transportation, according to the Electric Vehicle Association of Philippines (EVAP).
NPGA initiatives are intended to help developing countries by providing foreign currency for importing goods that use Japanese technologies to address a specific economic or social need.
Why it matters
The handover signals an increasingly active role from the Philippine government in promoting EVs and EEVs alongside the private sector. It complements President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to fast-track sustainable urban transportation in the Philippines via massive rail projects, among others.
“We feel that any additional electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle on Philippine roads is a step in the right direction and will help catalyze the industry,” EVAP president Rommel Juan. “The best advertisement for EVs is seeing them running on our streets”.
The added support from the Philippine government for EE vehicles and EVs come ahead of EVAP’s inaugural ASEAN Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Summit, which will be held on June 29-30 in Manila. It will gather insights and experiences shared by EV authorities from across the region.
For more information on the summit including how to register, please visit http://evap.com.ph/.