GOGORO, the Taiwan-based electric scooter manufacturer, is rolling out its electric scooters and battery-swapping network outside Metro Manila this year.
During the online media briefing on Globe’s 4th Quarter 2023 Performance on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, Gogoro Philippines president Bernie Llamzon named Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Siargao, Baguio, Tuguegarao, Dumaguete and Batanes as among the firm’s next expansion sites after Manila.
“We are still very bullish about the potential of our scooters in this market, such that we’re looking at expanding geographically in the different parts of the country, looking forward to Visayas and Mindanao expansion for the balance of the year,” said Llamzon.
Gogoro Philippines is a joint venture between Ayala Corp., Globe’s 917Ventures and Gogoro. It announced its commercial launch and availability of its Smartscooters and battery swapping in Manila on Dec. 1, 2023, initially offering high-end premium scooters to the upper segment of the market.
Llamzon said they’ve received very good acceptance and feedback from the customers who have availed themselves of these high-end scooters, lauding their smart and high-tech features as well as their riding comfort and ease of charging.
Gogoro Philippines rolled out two postpaid energy plans. There is the plan P799 which has a 300 ampere-hour allocation or up to 420 kilometers, and the plan P999 which has a 500 ampere-hour allocation or up to P700 kilometers.
To support the growing number of e-scooters on the road, Llamzon said they’ve lined up six more Go stations that are in different stages of construction, in addition to the five stations already set up.
Besides having a strong presence in Taiwan, Gogoro has rapidly expanded its operations, reaching China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Singapore, South Korea, and recently, the Philippines.
Evida law amendment
Meanwhile, Llamzon lauded the recent filing of a bill that seeks to amend the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (Evida) to include the two-wheeled vehicles.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, filed House Bill 9573 that seeks to further amend Republic Act 11697 or the Evida law to redefine EVs to include two-wheeled vehicles and provide a zero-percent duty treatment on completely-built EVs to accelerate the shift to these types of vehicles.
Electric vehicles are generally more sustainable because renewable energy accounts for some 26.4 percent of the country’s power, while some 99.77 percent of cars still use fossil fuels, the congressman noted.
Salceda said this measure aims to boost the country’s commitments to the international community under the Paris Agreement, as well as reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“The Evida, then, was a laudable law that enabled a six-fold growth in sales of electric cars in 2023, versus 2022. However, limiting interpretations of the Evida have effectively denied two-wheeled electric vehicles access to the fiscal incentives granted to electric vehicles under the Evida law,” Salceda said.
He pointed out that 60 percent of electric vehicles in the Philippines are two-wheeled, which means that “the vast majority of electric vehicles do not benefit from the tax incentives granted under the law.”
He added that two-wheeled electric vehicles “are the most affordable electric vehicles” because these cost only around three percent of the price of an electric car.
“The fiscal incentives once they are adjusted, corrected and rectified will surely help in the business viability of the companies engaged in the selling and distribution of the two-wheeled EVs,” said Llamzon.
He also stressed that this will drive faster adoption of EVs in the Philippines and improve its scale of production, which will eventually become an attraction to do local assembly in the country.
“And with local assembly of EVs, there will be jobs for the ordinary Filipinos,” he said. / KOC