Being from the Philippines, I find that my country's adoption of electric two-wheelers has been extremely slow. In other parts of Asia, electric motorcycles and scooters are seen as budget-friendly mobility solutions designed for practicality and efficiency. Meanwhile, here in the Philippines, electric two-wheelers are luxury products and lifestyle symbols owned mostly by well-off techie folks.
One of the reasons for this is that there are no incentives for people to make the shift to electric motorcycles in the Philippines. Yes, there's an existing incentive program under Executive Order (EO) 12 for electric cars, but electric two wheelers are not covered by the tariff exemptions. This has led Gogoro Philippines to take action, and has reportedly started working towards extending EO 12's coverage to include electric two wheelers.
Gogoro Philippines was setup through a partnership with two major conglomerates in the country – the Ayala Corporation, a company whose expertise encompasses a wide range of industries from real estate to automotive, and 917Ventures of Globe Telecom, one of the biggest telecom, mobile, and internet service providers in the Philippines. Gogoro itself has proven as a force to be reckoned with in other parts of Asia. More specifically, in its home country of Taiwan, it holds a massive 90-percent market share of EV two-wheelers.
A recent report by Business World indicates that Gogoro Philippines CEO Bernard P. Llamzon is adamant on having EO 12 include electric two-wheelers for tariff exemptions in the Philippine market. In the report, he stated, "We are working on that, to also get the two-wheeled EVs as part of those that will benefit from zero tariff." Importation taxes play a huge role when it comes to prices we pay for products. Zero-tariff for EV two-wheelers will surely make them more attractive to commuters. “That will allow us (to have) competitive pricing for smart scooters and push faster adoption of two-wheeled EVs in the Philippines,” Llamzon added.
Should Gogoro Philippines be able to successfully scale up, the company hopes to expand its operations in the Philippines to cover not only the sale and distribution of electric scooters, but also the manufacturing of scooters and their components. For reference, the Philippines is home to large manufacturing facilities of multiple motorcycle manufacturers such as KTM, Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki.
As for the inclusion of electric two-wheelers under EO 12, should it ever take effect, it'll surely take a huge chunk of the load off the price consumers pay at retail, as tariffs will be removed for five years, while prices on parts will also be discounted. Should everything go according to plan, Gogoro has some pretty big plans for the near future, as it'll be launching a new Experience Center in the Philippines to officially start its commercial operations.