Electrifying the future of mobility in the Philippines

This story is written by Alex Hammett, Managing Director for South Asia & Pacific of Inchcape Plc.

With sustainability as a strong agenda and driving force to transform industries across the world, transportation stands at the forefront of innovation. To usher in a cleaner and greener future for mobility, automakers are investing heavily in Electric Vehicle (EV) development and cleaner energy alternatives. 

Studies show that by 2030, EVs stand to represent more than 60% of all vehicles sold across the globe. To enable nations to reap the benefits that come with joining the electric revolution, the mobility sector must come together to accelerate the transition. 

Driving development of the local EV landscape

The EV market in the Philippines may still be in a nascent state but various initiatives are paving the way for its growth. 

The Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) Act became a law in 2022. It provides a comprehensive roadmap for EV operations and support in the country. The national government has also introduced tax incentives to encourage Filipinos to consider EVs. Together, they helped lay the foundation for a sustainable transportation ecosystem. 

There are however challenges for wide-spread EV adoption locally. The development of extensive charging infrastructure remains a significant hurdle, especially with the archipelagic nature of the Philippines. Additionally, the prices and insurance premiums of EVs are generally costlier than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles – a possible factor that could hinder widespread EV ownership.

Charging up EVs in the country 

I believe these obstacles can be overcome through collaborative actions throughout the local transport and mobility sector. With positive environmental and societal outcomes driving unprecedented changes in how vehicles are designed and developed, we at Inchcape are in a prime position to help the Philippine automotive industry answer the call of sustainability. 

Paving the way for the future, we are proud to deliver a more sustainable, responsible and eco-conscious business in the Philippines. We do so by working with our partners to deliver together for people and societies to realize their ambitions in a new world of mobility. 

To bring about that transition, we harness the knowledge and insights gained from working in markets that have begun their EV journeys. Our position in helping OEM partners successfully make their EV transition is supported by our digital and data capabilities which report, track, and anticipate consumer behaviors on EV adoption. The insights gained seamlessly blend with our global footprint helps leverage lessons learned by early EV adapters in other markets. Alongside our expertise in EV market regulations, charging infrastructure and grid readiness, these learnings are invaluable as we work with our OEM partners to accelerate the EV rollout on-ground. 

Last year, we became the official distributors of Changan automobiles in the Philippines. With Changan’s continued investments in new-energy platforms and the complete electrification of all products among its goals, together with our market expansion and distribution capabilities, it is our shared ambition to enable more Filipinos to enjoy the lasting safety and technological advancements Changan automobiles can provide. 

Of course, companies making the EV transition must be able to do so at their own pace. To that end, we provide them the agility and competencies to help them navigate the shift as local market opportunities arise.  Last June, Inchcape entered a global strategic partnership with Great Wall Motor Company Limited (GWM) and we spearheaded the launch of GWM with primarily new energy offerings in Indonesia – a new market for GWM and joint ambition to accelerate new energy transition.

To further bolster our EV position, last year, Inchcape gained further EV competence with the acquisition of AutoInsure in Singapore, an automotive workshop group that offers expertise in EV maintenance and repairs. This form of knowledge and capability transfer is our strategy in action. We are poised to leverage our global footprint to drive efficiencies across our business, especially as we continue to establish ourselves in emerging markets such as the Philippines. 

Accelerating transformation towards sustainability

Provision of EV options and support capabilities are strong steps towards sustainable mobility in the country, and we want to take it further to design a more planet-friendly business operation.

I am proud to announce that Inchcape Philippines will be undergoing process mapping for carbon emissions reporting this year. Recognizing that the next ton of carbon emissions will be even harder to save than the last ton, our Inchcape APAC Planet team is laying out our 5-year plan for greenhouse gases reduction, which we will also implement throughout our Philippine operations.

Our sustainability journey is one we actively champion throughout our Philippine operations. The Inchcape facility in Greenhills has undergone a conversion to solar power. Future installations will also be carried out across our properties and dealerships throughout our network. 

We’ve also taken significant steps to reduce our workplace impact on the environment. From the introduction of carpooling to the rollout of an employee bus service, these initiatives symbolize a united front towards our pursuit of a greener future. 

This collective effort extends to creative positive outcomes in our local communities as well. In partnership with Mercedes-Benz Philippines, we joined hands with “Liter of Light”, an organization dedicated to illuminating the lives of those with little to no access to electricity. Through this partnership, we brought solar-powered lights to communities that have long lived in the shadows, providing not just light, but hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Navigating the road ahead 

I believe that the future of EVs in the Philippines is bright. With continued support from stakeholders across the transportation and mobility sector, widespread EV adoption and ownership can help the automotive industry deliver on the promise of sustainability. Alongside our OEM partners, and guided by our commitment to enabling transformation, we will work to bring mobility to the world’s communities for today, tomorrow, and for the better – one EV on the road at a time. 

Alex Hammett is the Managing Director for South Asia & Pacific, which include Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Guam, Saipan and Micronesia. Prior to this, Alex was the Managing Director for Inchcape APAC’s Developing Markets and President of Atkins Kroll, Inc. an Inchcape company in the Pacific.

With Alex’s leadership, the South Asia & Pacific cluster expanded through the years with sustained growth, including Inchcape’s new market entry to the Philippines, distribution agreements won for Tata Motors in Thailand and Changan in the Philippines, acquisition of Morrico Equipment and Avis, Budget & Payless in Guam, and set up of Bravoauto used vehicle business in Thailand.

Alex joined Inchcape in 2012 and is an American national that has extensive general management experience, having work held several general management roles in automotive, commercial vehicles, heavy equipment, and vehicle rental operations.

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