January 24, 2018, 1:39 am
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Fuel giant, start up partner for EV charging stations

EARLIER this year Shell revealed plans to deploy electric car charging stations in Europe, the first ones in Britain and Netherlands. The plan was to utilize gas stations as the same locations where electric vehicles can recharge their batteries using state of the art equipment that are “plug agnostic” meaning will work for various input configurations.

As petroleum providers oil become aware of the quick and unstoppable transition to electric vehicles—with all the major automakers having a alternative fuel vehicle development with electric, hydrogen apart from current hybrids—they must adapt or devolve. And as electric cars increase in popularity worldwide, gas stations might as well provide a plug-in option, lest be reduced to toilet break stops and convenience stores.

Last July, some of the first stations were already set up in partnership with a company known as Allego. These new custom charging stations look just like gas pumps. 

Soon, selected Shell stations in the Philippines will have battery chargers once the initiative of the startup firm QEV Philippines goes online. The first 10 out of the initial 100 pilot stations that will be fitted with ABB-supplied charging posts will be up by December. ABB is a Swiss technology provider of robotics and automation.

During the first ASEAN Electric Vehicle Summit, Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President Rommel Juan said one of the reasons why the electric vehicle sector is not moving as fast as it should is the lack of charging facilities, apart from lack of strong government support in terms of taxation and incentives.

The EVAP is at the forefront of the development of the local electric vehicle industry focusing on the commercial vehicle segment which is expected to grow faster this year as more player come in and more transport applications are developed.

“We already moved from proof-of-concept into viable and potentially profitable application for local government units and for passenger transport,” Juan told Malaya during the EV Summit. 

QEV Philippines is a partnership between businessmen EndikaAboitiz and Enrique Banuelos and seeks to push for “green jeepney,” an idea that has been around since 2008 with the Makati Green Route. The early electric jeepneys however were hampered by limited distance per charge and the use of quick draining lead acid batteries. Later initiatives saw the Comet electric jeepney that still runs the Katipunan to SM City route using large EVs that have charging stations on both ends of the route. The Filinvest EV jeepney service has become a good model for replacing diesel jeepneys. 

QEV wants to transform diesel-enginedjeepneys and fit electric motorsand batteries. It wants to convert 10,000 diesel jeepneys to e-jeepneys with government support and private sector cooperation starting next year. The project may cost up to P6 billion.
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