Rommel Juan, Chairman of EVAP: Dispelling Myths About Electric Vehicles

September 15, 2023

In recent years, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, they have also faced their fair share of skepticism and negative publicity. Rommel Juan, Chairman of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), has been a staunch advocate for EVs and is committed to debunking these myths.

Myth 1: EVs Run on Fossil Fuels

One of the most persistent myths about EVs is that they simply shift the environmental burden from the tailpipe to the power plant. Critics argue that since most electricity is generated from fossil fuels, EVs are not a genuinely green choice. However, the EVAP Chairman who frequently encounters these questions about EVs, points out a key fact: in the Philippines, the Renewable Energy Law mandates that up to 25% of all electricity produced must come from renewable sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and more. This ensures that a significant portion of the energy powering EVs in the country is clean and sustainable.

Even in regions where electricity generation relies heavily on fossil fuels, EVs are still more efficient than their ICE counterparts. Internal combustion engines are at their peak efficiency at lower RPMs, typically below 3,000. In contrast, EVs are efficient throughout their usage, making them a far more eco-conscious choice.

Myth 2: EVs Are Vulnerable to Flooding

Concerns about EVs being rendered inoperable during floods are common, especially in flood-prone areas like Manila. However, Juan, always striving to educate everyone about the benefits of electric vehicles, dismisses this notion by highlighting the Ingress Protection (IP) ratings of EV motors. The average IP rating for an EV motor is IP67, with IP68 being the highest achievable rating. An IP67-rated component can endure submersion in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes without sustaining damage. This level of water resistance ensures that flooding is not a significant threat to EVs, making them a practical choice in regions with heavy rainfall.

Myth 3: EVs Are More Prone to Fires

A common misconception that often circulates is the belief that electric vehicles (EVs) are more likely to catch fire compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, Rommel Juan clarifies, "There is no proof or any study that suggests EVs catch fire more frequently than conventional ICE vehicles. What we often see is that when an EV does catch fire, it tends to make headlines more frequently than ICE vehicle fires." This emphasis on isolated incidents can create a misleading perception that EVs are less safe when, in fact, their safety records are on par with or even superior to their ICE counterparts.

Myth 4: EVs Will Overload the Power Grid

Another misconception that frequently circulates is the fear that the widespread adoption of electric vehicles will collapse the Philippine power grid. However, Rommel Juan is quick to debunk this notion, stating, "The Department of Energy (DOE) has crafted charging strategies that can prevent overloading and even support grid reliability. EVs can be charged during off-peak hours, reducing the strain on the grid. Additionally, the concept of vehicle-to-grid technology allows EVs to act as a power source that can even push energy back into the grid when needed." This innovative approach ensures that the power grid remains stable even with a growing number of EVs on the road.

Myth 5: Lack of Charging Infrastructure

Another common concern is that there are not enough charging stations for EVs. However, this is far from the truth. Rommel Juan points out, "Electric vehicles can be plugged into the same type of outlet as your electric fan. And in fact, there are more and more charging stations being set up by various EVAP members every day." The increasing availability of charging infrastructure across the Philippines ensures that EV owners have convenient access to charging facilities.

Myth 6: Insufficient Range

Lastly, some skeptics claim that EVs do not have enough range to handle the daily travel demands of Filipinos. Juan addresses this concern, stating, "Electric vehicle range is more than enough for typical daily use in the Philippines. Most models offer a range of over 300-400 kilometers, while the typical Filipino daily drive is approximately 40 kilometers." This means that the range of EVs comfortably covers the average daily commute, dispelling any worries about insufficient mileage.

Dr. Manny Biona, EVAP Executive Director, adds valuable insight to this myth and says that China, a major player in the EV market, set a minimum range requirement of 400 kilometers for EVs to qualify for subsidies. This strategic move by China significantly contributed to pushing up the range of EVs globally, ensuring that consumers have ample range for their daily travel needs.

EVAP, is a dedicated advocate for electric vehicles and is determined to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding them. With well-crafted government strategies, a growing network of charging infrastructure, and ample range to meet daily travel needs, electric vehicles are not just a sustainable option but also a practical and reliable choice for Filipino consumers. As the world shifts toward electric mobility, EVAP extends a warm invitation to all to visit the 11th Philippine EV Summit happening on October 19-21 at the SMX in MOA. This event provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about EVs, witness the latest EV models, and explore the expanding charging station network, solidifying the Philippines' place in the green transportation revolution.

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.