Making electric cars affordable: Zero excise, check. Incentives, no check for DOF | Inquirer News
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Making electric cars affordable: Zero excise, check. Incentives, no check for DOF

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 03:28 PM October 07, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—With electric vehicles already enjoying zero excise, the Department of Finance (DOF) expressed hesitance to ride along a proposal to provide more incentives to e-vehicle makers.

 Incentives, according to DOF’s Charm Odicta, were not effective “in advancing the development” of the e-vehicle industry.

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 She said at a Senate hearing that in 2017, despite incentives offered to manufacturers, only three out of nine availed themselves of the incentives.

 One of the come-ons for e-vehicle makers and owners was the establishment of free charging stations, which also didn’t make a dent as far as increasing e-vehicle manufacturing was concerned.

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 Besides, she said, incentives “contradicts the DOF’s efforts in reforming the tax system.”

 Excise was a “better policy tool” to lure manufacturers into producing more e-vehicles which was already done by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or Train, law. The law already provides for zero excise for e-vehicles and 50 percent excise for hybrid cars because these use 50 percent fuel.

 Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Senate energy committee chair, said the high cost of electric vehicles was preventing motorists to shift to these.

 He said the industry is requesting the government for subsidies and fiscal incentives.

 “Meaning remove excise, remove import duties to make e-vehicles cheaper for our people,” Gatchalian said.

 The Senate and other agencies would form a technical working group in two weeks to further discuss proposals to lower e-vehicle costs. By November, according to Gatchalian, his committee would submit a bill for plenary debate.

 “Hopefully, this bill gets approved within the year,” Gatchalian said in a mix of Filipino and English. He said five other senators have similar proposals./TSB

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