E-vehicles forecasted to gain significant growth by 2017 as companies innovate to respond to climate change
Manila, Philippines, 17 August 2012 – With the Philippines ranking third in the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change, the country continues to face significant economic losses and environmental risks due to its constant exposure to severe natural disasters like floods due to rising sea levels. There is now a pressing need for the country to be resilient to the adverse effects of climate change and to support global efforts to combat it.
The automotive industry, as one of the biggest emitters of CO2, sees electromobility (e-mobility) or the electrification of vehicles as its response to the need for substantial improvements in environmental efficiency. Although electromobility has been a recurring theme to the automotive industry’s efforts to lower CO2 emissions, recent years have seen new development opportunities for electric vehicles (EVs) in the Philippines.
Bosch, the world’s leading and largest automotive technology supplier, advocates the adoption of electromobility as its response to the environmental and economic demands of climate change. Bosch underscores its expertise in automotive technologies by offering holistic technological products and solutions that effectively lower vehicular CO2 emissions.
E-mobility in the Philippines
According to Joseph Hong, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Inc. (Philippines), the country is preparing for the advent of electromobility, in its effort to help combat climate change.
“E-mobility will accelerate demand in local businesses for the Philippines, particularly in the manufacturing and utility industries. It will also provide an opportunity for the government to address the country’s susceptibility to climate change without compromising economic development,” said Mr. Hong.
He added, “e-mobility will not only save fuel costs and contribute to the environment, but also boost innovation in local automotive companies. This will open up an opportunity to create a substantial number of jobs as a result.”
The recent introduction of plug-in hybrid vehicles (HVs) to the Philippine car market addresses the challenges of climate change, energy security and increasing oil prices. E-bikes and e-trikes are also gradually gaining momentum in the local back-end industry, offering the benefits of electromobility to the masses.
Addressing central management challenges
However, the transition to e-mobility brings with it local management challenges. A significant requisite to the successful adoption of e-mobility is the availability of EV charging infrastructures such as public and private charging stations in the country.
“The development of an EV charging infrastructures requires ecosystem development for various parties to interact and set up viable business relationships,” said Mr. Hong. “To achieve economies of scale, greater cooperation is needed between car manufacturers and suppliers, as well as private and public institutions.”
Moreover, high import taxes have an impact on the importation of used EVs into the country. According to a recent report from the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), local e-vehicle stakeholders need 30 percent tariff protection on imported completed built-up e-vehicles; while the importation of parts, components and capital equipment that are not available locally must be opened at zero tariff to support the growth of this sector.
Pooling production and standardizing components are also imperative to the evolution of e-mobility. Plug-in connections for power electronics have yet to be standardized in the country, making them just as expensive as the highly complex semiconductors that perform the actual function.
Sustaining EV Adoption with Battery-Charging Solutions
While EVs are seen as the future of sustainable mobility, the potential cost benefits vary from country to country.
Bosch supports in the study of the specific benefits and cost of EV implementation through its Bosch Software Innovations (BSI) business division.
In Singapore for example, BSI was chosen to be the charging service provider of an e-mobility pilot project (EV test bed). BSI played a key role in determining key issues on the viability and benefits of e-mobility for Singapore, responsible for the installation and maintenance of charging stations, and operating back-end software applications for the EV test bed.
Bosch Software Innovations develops a web-based software solution for the EV charging infrastructure. The eMobility Solution, a modular software comprising of various components and frameworks from BSI, serves as a common software platform for all eMobility stakeholders including electric utilities, charging spot manufacturers, mobility service providers, fleets, electric vehicle manufacturers and parking lot managers to drivers. It also enables the efficient realization of open business models.
Globally, 18 brands of e-bikes are already equipped with Bosch drive systems. By 2013, Bosch will be supplying 12 automakers with components and systems required for 20 electromobility related projects.
* Electric vehicles (EVs) refer to vehicles that use electric motors solely for propulsion
** Hybrid vehicles (HVs) refer to vehicles that combine the technologies of using internal combustion engine (ICE) with a battery-powered electric motor to gain advantages of both propulsion systems
*** Alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) refer to vehicles using alternative sources of energy such as but not limited to solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cell, compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), other than conventional sources of energy like petroleum and gasoline for propulsion