“As a leader in the energy industry, we want to incorporate innovations that will improve the efficiency and sustainability of our operations.”
This is how Aboitiz Power President and Chief Executive Officer Manny Rubio, described Aboitiz Power Corporation’s latest fleet purchase of electric vehicles, the BYD T3 EV known for its robust build, long range for city use and ease of maintenance. Already the Philippines’ biggest power distributor, Meralco (Manila Electric Company) and logistics company DHL have fleets of the T3 EV commercial vans used in their operations since June 2022 and January 2023 respectively.
PH President’s Drive For Vehicle Electrification
Earlier in the month, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., at a meeting with business leaders, called on industry authorities and agencies come up with proposals that would speed up the transition to electric vehicles.
The objective is for the Philippines to become a significant player in the global electric vehicle industry. President Marcos highlighted the country’s potential as an EV production hub and acknowledged the rising local demand for environmentally friendly vehicles.
To bolster EV sales, Marcos signed Executive Order (EO) No. 12 in January.
The order exempts certain e-vehicles, including passenger cars, buses, minibuses, vans, trucks, tricycles, and bicycles, from import tariffs for five years. Additionally, it reduces or eliminates import tariffs on select automotive parts and equipment, including that used for charging stations, down from previous rates ranging from 5% to 30%.
Many companies, including power producer Aboitiz, took heed of the president’s call for action and have taken positive steps to contribute to it.
Aboitiz Electric Vehicle Fleet Program
Aboitiz Power Corporation’s ambitious objectives for its corporate electric vehicle fleet transformation is a commitment to supporting the Philippine Electric Vehicle Development Act (EVIDA), a law designed to increase the use of EVs. This was boosted by EO No. 12.
EVIDA mandates that industrial and commercial companies must have a minimum of 5% of their fleets composed of electric vehicles. The primary goal of this part of the law is to promote the utilization and advancement of electric vehicles while reducing the dependence of the local transportation sector on imported fossil fuels.
Aboitiz Power directly contributes to the country’s transition toward sustainable mobility. Its goal is to achieve a 40% electrification rate for its four-wheeled vehicles and motorcycles within the company by 2030. Additionally, it aims to completely electrify the entire Aboitiz Power Distribution Utilities (DU) fleet by 2040.
Sources say the T3 purchase was the last fleet sale of Solar Transport before the Ayala Group took over last month.
“Electrifying our fleet will help us further reduce carbon emissions, lower operating costs, and contribute to cleaner air in the cities where we operate. This way, we are also helping empower the evolution of the cities we serve,” Anton Percides, Aboitiz Power Distribution Utilities Chief Operating Officer, said in a press statement
“The world is facing developments in climate change, global connectivity, population growth, urbanization, and digitalization, and these changes demand that businesses like ours transform to remain relevant,” Rubio added.
Rubio emphasizes the importance of electrifying the mobility sector, which has historically been the highest energy-consuming sector in the country, accounting for 31.3% of total final energy consumption and contributing significantly to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Aboitiz Power recognizes that deeper electrification of mobility is crucial in achieving a cleaner and more sustainable world energy system. They acknowledge that various mobility applications can be powered by electricity from cleaner or zero-emission sources.
The BYD vans will soon be put into use by the three key cities under Aboitiz Power Distribution Utilities (DU): Visayan Electric, Davao Light, and Cotabato Light. Beyond reducing emissions, this program is expected to enhance energy efficiency and transportation economics, as electric vehicles typically cost at least half as much to operate per kilometer compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.
“(These vehicles are) bound to be deployed in the franchise areas we serve in Visayas and Mindanao, with land areas more than six times the size of Metro Manila, these vehicles are geared to prove their efficiency and reliability in this new age of electric mobility,” Percides concludes.
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