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Ayala Corporation eyes EV fast-charger network, partnerships for charging stations

VJ Bacungan · Aug 15, 2023 10:15 AM

byd philippines media roundtable

AC Motors head Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala (second from left) with executives from Chinese EV carmaker BYD. PHOTO BY VJ BACUNGAN (AUTOFUN PHILIPPINES).

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EV) comes the corresponding question – where can we charge them?

Given that EV charging stations remain scarce in comparison to gasoline stations, some companies are taking the initiative to develop a nationwide charging network. These include the Ayala Corporation, which already has stakes in the energy sector.

“When we think about that range anxiety issue, we believe that it will be solved with a portfolio of solutions,” said Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, head of Ayala’s automotive arm AC Motors in a press conference for BYD Philippines.

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AutoFun Philippines was the first to report that AC Motors would be taking over the local distributorship of Chinese carmaker BYD, which is one of the world’s leading EV manufacturers.

“Certainly, a lot of customers will expect to have some type of charging solution at home, which may vary depending on the kind of capacity that they want,” Zobel de Ayala added. “We would also like to utilize the strategic real-estate assets we have to provide a comprehensive charging network.”

Ayala Corporation has incorporated EV charging stations in its malls and other properties, primarily in Luzon.

Fast-charging network ahead?

byd atto 3 vehicle to load charger

The BYD ATTO 3 EV crossover is the next model that will debut from BYD Philippines, now under the control of AC Motors. PHOTO FROM BYD.

However, Zobel de Ayala said the conglomerate is open to partnerships to expand EV infrastructure, along with setting up its own fast-charging stations.

“I think longer-term, destination routes will require some kind of high-quality charging systems,” he said. “That does not necessarily preclude us from having high-quality chargers also in urban areas. We're gonna look to create the right kind of portfolio that provides the best experience for the customer.”

The demand for EVs and charging stations is increasing steadily in the Philippines in light of greatly reduced prices for brand-new EVs. This is after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued an executive order that set duties on imported EVs and spare parts to zero.

In addition, Republic Act 11697 or the “Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act” offers non-fiscal incentives to EV owners, such as number-coding exemption and discounted registration fees at the Land Transportation Office.

R.A. 11697 likewise mandates the construction of dedicated EV parking slots and charging stations in new and old buildings, along with providing a timeframe for industrial and commercial companies, public transport operators, and government agencies to transition to full EV fleets.

The Philippine government is aiming to sell only brand-new EVs locally by 2040.

The ACEN connection

jaime alfonso zobel de ayala


Unlike other carmakers, which set up their own EV charging stations in dealerships, AC Motors is in a unique position to help develop EV infrastructure nationwide because its sister company is Ayala’s renewable-energy arm ACEN Corporation.

Zobel de Ayala, who is the son of Ayala Corporation chair Jaime August Zobel de Ayala, also sits on the board of directors of ACEN.

The energy company has around 4,400 MW of capacity from facilities in the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Some 98 percent of its energy production is from renewable sources.

Among its assets are wind farms and solar farms, along with geothermal and coal-fired power plants. 

ACEN aims to transition its generation portfolio to all renewable energy by 2025, reach 20 GW of renewable capacity by 2030 and produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Do you think Ayala can take the lead in making EV charging stations as ubiquitous as gasoline stations in the coming decades?

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VJ Bacungan

Senior Writer

An award-winning multimedia journalist, editor, and host for online and TV who has written in-depth stories on road safety and the Philippine elections. Outside of the media, VJ is an accomplished motorsports champion, English teacher, and dancer.

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