Cars

Electric Vehicles in the Philippines: What You Need to Know

The future is electric.
IMAGE PORSCHE/NISSAN
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Are you thinking of buying an electric vehicle in the Philippines soon? There are some things you need to know, but the most important is that you’re definitely not alone. More and more people are continuing to see electric cars as a viable mobility alternative, and it’s looking more and more like electric is going to be the norm and not the exception. 

In 2007, only about 100 electric vehicles were sold worldwide, according to Frost and Sullivan, a business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis. Ten years later, that figure had ballooned to one million. A year later, in 2018, sales reached two million.

Final numbers have yet to be relased for 2019, but Frost and Sullivan peg the number to be at 2.8 million, which would be a record. In fact, for the first half of 2019, sales have already surged 92 percent to around 780,000 units compared to the same period in 2018.

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Photo by NISSAN.

Electric cars in the Philippines

The trend is no less pronounced in the Philippines. Frost and Sullivan predicted 10,000 jeepneys and about 200 charging stations in the country by 2025. In addition, about 46 percent of potential car buyers the agency surveyed said they were open to buying an electric vehicle.

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The consulting firm added that, in 2017, there were at least 28 firms in the Philippines involved in the electric vehicle industry in some way, including 11 parts manufacturers, seven importers and dealers, and 10 jeepney quad assemblies. The number most likely would have increased since then.

And in a sign that carmakers are responding to this seismic shift within the industry, electric vehicles are officially making their way over to the Philippines this year, led by the Porsche Taycan and the Nissan Leaf.

So people are open to buying an electric vehicle in the Philippines, and the vehicles themselves are making their way over here. What should Filipinos know about owning an electric vehicle in the first place?

In a bid to prepare for the imminent launch of the Leaf—which is one of the world’s betselling electric vehicles—Nissan Philippines sent out an information packet designed to provide Filipinos with basic information about the model, and about electric vehicles in general.

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Photo by NISSAN.

What you need to know about the Nissan Leaf

The most important points are these:

- The Nissan LEAF can cover 311 kilometers (about the distance between Manila and San Fernando, La Union) when fully charged. For reference, the average driving distance around Metro Manila per day is only 13.2 km.

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- There are three primary ways to charge an EV, according to consumer preference and ease. Charging at home, usually overnight, with a standard universal cable can be done right away and takes 12 to 15 hours to fully charge the Nissan LEAF. A wall box can also be installed at home or in any establishment, and takes between five to seven hours per charge session. Nissan says there are currently 23 public charging stations in the Philippines, and more are being added.

- Electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions, which means they are a good environmental choice. Moreover, electric vehicles allow a reduction in noise pollution, a growing issue in urban centers. The Nissan LEAF has a running noise level of 21 decibels, compared to the average 82 decibels that a car produces when driving at 80 km per hour.

Nissan Philippines says the Leaf is already present elsewhere in the region, including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. 

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Photo by PORSCHE.
Photo by PORSCHE.
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What you need to know about the Porsche Taycan

Porsche, meanwhile, says the Taycan is “a genuine sports car more closely related to the legendary Porsche 911 than to the Porsche Panamera luxury model.”

Three versions of the Taycan are currently available: the flagship Taycan Turbo S can generate up to 761 PS, has a combined power consumption of 26.9 kWh/100 km, accelerates from zero to 100 kph in 2.8 seconds and has a driving range of up to 412 kilometers; the Taycan Turbo, which can deliver up to 680 PS and has a combined power consumption of 26.0 kWh/100 km, can sprint from zero to 100 kph in 3.2 seconds and has a range of up to 450 kilometers; and the Taycan 4S, the model range’s entry-level variant with two battery sizes. The Taycan 4S’s Performance battery Plus can produce up to 571 PS, a combined electrical power consumption of 25.6 kWh/100 km with no emissions and has a driving range of 463 kilometers. Either of the battery systems can accelerate from zero to 100 kph in 4.0 seconds. 

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Although those two electric vehicle models are expected to make their debuts in the Philippines this year, Frost and Sullivan says there are still challenges facing proponents of EVs in the country.

“People need to be aware that EVs in the macro environment are favorable overall,” said Paulo Mutuc, Frost and Sullivan senior consultant during the Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit in 2017. “It’s important to emphasize that EVs could be part of the solution to pollution and congestion.

“The benefits of EVs should be made clear,” he added. “We need to make those values clear and tangible, especially to jeepney and tricycle drivers, particularly given high upfront costs.”

Finally, upgrades to power distribution have to be made in anticipation of every day and fast-charging requirements for electric vehicle sin the Philippines.

“Collaborations (among the different stakeholders) will be key to raising to EV adoption and making the necessary technologies and business models work,” Mutuc concluded.

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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