Big EVIDA Update: Will Hybrids, Plug-In Hybrids finally become more affordable?

The EVIDA or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act has all but favored more sustainable means of transportation since its inception. To start, it brought tax exemptions for electric vehicles being sold in the Philippines, but also left hybrids and plug-in hybrids without said exemptions. That has, however, changed drastically after PBBM signed a major amendment to include the aforementioned vehicle types in the import duty tax exemption.

Tax exemption under EVIDA now applies to hybrids, plug-in hybrids

2023 Toyota Yaris Cross S Hev Hybrid Engine evida

Following an update to Executive Order 12 (EO 12) also known as “Temporarily Modifying The Rates of Import Duty on Electric Vehicles, Parts, and Components Under Section 1611 of Republic Act No. 10863, Otherwise Known As The ‘Customs Modernization Act'” (wow, that is long!), Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (PBBM) has suspended the application of 30% import tax duties to finally include hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Not only that, this amendment will also apply to jeeps, buses, and even trucks that run on hybrid power, as well as e-bikes and electric motorcycles/trikes.

Porsche Cayenne e-hybrid evida

Here’s a clarification, though. The said amendment does not apply to mild hybrids. It has been said that a vehicle will be considered a “hybrid” as long as it can resort to solely using electric motors (running on batteries) for propulsion. Seeing as mild hybrids still rely on a conventional internal combustion engine to move, the EVIDA update on tax exemptions does not cover them.

Nissan X-Trail Hybrid E-Power Launch Inline 06 Min mmda evida

Photo: Nissan

As we all know, price tags on hybrids and plug-in hybrids command a significant premium over vehicles that still run on fuel. With this EVIDA update, does this automatically mean they will be priced more affordably moving forward? The manufacturer sides have been quiet, but this might actually happen, especially since the amendment came from PBBM himself.

One caveat that we’d like to bring to everyone’s attention: while the current non-fiscal incentives surrounding sales, use, and ownership of electrified vehicles under EVIDA will have another 6 years until an extension or further amendments, EO 12 will only be in effect until 2028. Should our hopes prove warranted – that is a significant reduction in hybrid and plug-in hybrid prices – we have about 4 years to take advantage of it.

That’s a pretty long time to think of considering and eventually purchasing electrified vehicles. And overall, that is pretty good. “Pretty good” if, again, we see smaller numbers on these vehicles’ price tags.

Mikko Juangco
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