PIMS 2022: The Electric Vehicle Turning Point

Jude · Sep 19, 2022 10:39 AM

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Over the past decade, an oft-repeated but rarely turned into concrete action posit of the local auto industry was a need to shift to electric and hybrid cars.

The 2022 Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) showed attendees that the shift above wasn't just idle chat. Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid vehicles (HEVs) were highlights of more than one automaker at PIMS.

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The Kia EV6 has brought renewed interest in the Korean brand.

For example, Kia's EV6 full-electric compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) was front and center at the Korean manufacturer's booth. The sport-ute is Kia's first dedicated, from-the-ground-up four-wheeler that runs just on electricity. Arguably the most significant talking point regarding the EV6 would be the 500+ kilometer range on a full charge and the ability to get a 3/4ths juice level after some 20 minutes of plugging into a 350-kW outlet. The frustrating part about this particular EV was that 350-kW outlets are rare. However, Kia Philippines and parent company Ayala Cars stated at PIMS that they want to establish multiple charging stations nationwide, similar to gas station forecourts.

PIMS 2022: The Electric Vehicle Turning Point 01

Tech and style, this is what the Hyundai IONIQ 5 brought into the EV mix.

The Korean onslaught into the local EV game did not stop there. Hyundai Motor Philippines also brought out the highly anticipated IONIQ 5 EV. Sharing the same platform with the EV6, Hyundai's retro-modern interpretation of the future of electric mobility has undoubtedly raised a lot of interest with its head-turning design, unique interiors, and standout build quality. Two variants of the IONIQ 5 will be brought in, each with different battery capacities and ranges. 

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The BMW iX combines luxury with innovative EV technology.

Another example is BMW's iX sport-ute. The first all-electric vehicle on the BMW Philippines roster, the unit can go 372 kilometers on a full charge. The iX also comes with a wall box charger that BMW gets to install for free at your home. The all-wheel-drive uses something that BMW calls Intelligent Control. The drivetrain's electronic control unit channels feature a transition from using the rear wheels to using all four rollers. This is done via dual electric motors that feed electricity and uses fixed magnets to generate current. Does the end benefit? Enhanced road-holding and a broad response under the rightmost pedal.

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Mazda's mild hybrid lineup offers extended fuel savings too.

Hybrids were also abundant at the 2022 PIMS. Mazda brought mild-hybrid versions of the CX-30 subcompact SUV and the Mazda3 Sportback. On display at the Chery booth was a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) variant of the Tiggo 8 Pro large sport-ute. Even Mitsubishi displayed its Outlander PHEV and a new charging business model that the company wants to pursue.  

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In the subcompact MPV game, any amount of fuel saved goes a long way. The Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid is coming soon.

But arguably, one of the biggest attention-getters regarding PIMS 2022 hybrids was the Suzuki Ertiga's take on half gas, half electric powerplants. A gas-fed 1.5-liter straight four joined with an integrated starter generator, a six-Ampere hour 12-volt lithium-ion battery, and a four-speed slushbox to make the multipurpose vehicle scoot quickly around town – and slot itself as the top-end variant for the Suzuki utility runner. 

As a mass-market offering, the Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid's fuel-saving upgrade will make more sense to more people. And that is something manufacturers should now consider if the mass adoption of hybrid and EV technology is to take a foothold in this country.

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The Nissan Leaf started the EV bandwagon and is still around to savor the benefits of the shift in mindset.

Of course, we cannot forget the EV that started the trend, the Nissan Leaf. Along with its small crossover sibling, the Kicks, and its newer e-Power Technology, Nissan has been, until now, going all alone in this advocacy from the start. While Toyota has trickled down its hybrid technology to more of its model lineup, Nissan has led the way with its battery EV Leaf and the new stepping stone to that technology with e-Power. All while helping condition car-buyers' minds about the future of electrified mobility.

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Toyota says 90% of hybrids on the road in the Philippines come from them. 

The 8th PIMS is the first time electrified technology has entered the mainstream consciousness of the Philippine automotive landscape. With hybrids and full-electric vehicles on display, the show has delivered what the market has been curious about for some time now. If this level of interest continues, the next PIMS might be a different show altogether.

Do the various electrified models displayed at PIMS make you want to ditch the gas-only models in the market?