Press Release
January 21, 2019

Gatchalian proposes a law installing charging stations and parking slots for e-vehicles

The use of electric vehicles (e-vehicles) in the local transportation sector received a boost in the Senate following the filing of a bill by Sen. Win Gatchalian.

Gatchalian, chair of the committees on economic affairs and energy, has proposed the measure providing for a national energy policy and regulatory framework for the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, and the establishment of electronic charging stations.

Gatchalian's Senate Bill No. 2137 directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to create an "electric vehicle roadmap" which will promote the e-vehicle adoption and accelerate the electrification of transportation.

"Notwithstanding the contribution of electric vehicles to energy security, sustainability and savings, barriers still remain for the development of the industry, specifically the high upfront costs of owning an electric vehicle and the limited charging infrastructure," he said.

"Thus, it is crucial that a policy and regulatory framework is in place to usher in the uptake of electric vehicles in the country," Gatchalian added.

The bill, he further explained, addresses the challenges to the development of e-vehicles -- the high cost and lack of charging stations.

Under the proposed "Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act of 2018," the DOE will require the distribution utilities to incorporate a "charging infrastructure development plan" in the government's power development plan.

It will also require private and public buildings and establishments to have dedicated parking slots with charging stations and mandates open access for the installation of charging stations in gasoline stations.

The bill further provides that "no permit shall be issued for the construction or renovation of a building or establishment, unless the owner submits to the building official of the concerned local government unit and the DOE a sworn affidavit that there are parking spaces dedicated for the exclusive use of e-vehicles and a copy of the building plan incorporating the same."

Charging stations should be installed in establishments with dedicated parking slots for e-vehicles which may be open for a fee, it said.

Gasoline stations will also be made to designate dedicated spaces for charging stations.

A gasoline station shall not be issued a certificate of compliance by the DOE unless the owner submits a sworn affidavit that there is ample space for the construction of charging stations within its establishment.

In promoting the adoption of e-vehicles and charging stations, Gatchalian called for the granting of incentives such as expansion of non-fiscal incentives which include exemption from number coding, prioritization in registration and renewal, exemption from payment of motor vehicle user's charge, prioritization in the approval of franchise applications.

The bill also seeks to institutionalize time-bound fiscal incentives for manufacturers and importers of electric vehicles.

Gatchalian noted how the local transportation sector is highly dependent on foreign energy sources, making the commuting public susceptible to increase in international oil prices.

Such dependence to imported energy also poses health concerns as it emits millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the country's atmosphere, the senator said.

"Electric vehicles are likewise cost-effective for the riding public since it use fewer fluids and involve less moving parts than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. Maintaining an electric vehicle is likewise more cost-effective," the senator said.

Gatchalian said his bill will not only reduce the country's dependence on imported fuel as it will also promote environmentally clean and ecologically safe energy sources in addressing the country's energy needs.

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