Manila Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, revived plans to invest in the country’s electric vehicle industry through the deployment and manufacturing of e-vehicles for transport.
“I think for the longest time, we’ve been looking at EV. That’s why we have a prototype charging station here (in our headquarters) and we have it as early as 2011,” Meralco senior vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communication head Al Panlilio said.
He said the company was opportunistic on certain projects because “this is income lucrative to Meralco’s future.”
“If adoption of EV becomes big, then it will be beneficial to Meralco... Of course, charging station is a basic entry for Meralco but we are looking if we can participate more in the entire ecosystem or value chain of EV,” Panlilio said.
He said Meralco would discuss projects with local government units such as Mandaluyong, with the focus on e-trikes or public utility EVs.
“What we are doing is we are not going massively first. I think we are identifying two to three proof of concepts. One of them is Mandaluyong LGU. I think we are talking about 3,000 to 4,000 e-trikes,” Panlilio said.
He said e-trikes would be Meralco’s main focus for now because it they were the easiest to get into.
“It’s difficult if you go into e-bus and e-jeeps because it’s a total redesign of the vehicles,” the official said.
“We are even thinking of really creating what we call as M-Transport for electric vehicle. Even to the point of exploring (if) we should) get into manufacturing...,” he said. “We are exploring that whether that is something viable for us because there are also a lot of investments required to get into that. It’s too early to tell now whether it’s something that we will get into.”