Adopt electric mobiles in the provinces

By: Lucell Larawan

INVENTIONS that bring environmental and efficiency returns deserve our attention. To local entrepreneurs: why not invest in electric vehicles (EVs)?

The idea has a sweet spot in the market. Governments encourage EVs because it addresses the climate change challenge, pollution and what is more – cut our umbilical cords attached to oil companies that control our economy. I believe a supermajority of netizens in a province prefer vehicles that do not emit carbon that builds up our body toxins and bring about airway constrictions in the lungs. In addition, the oil-run economy has, for a long time, held hostage the prices of our basic commodities and there should be a way out.

Comparing EVs and traditional automobiles, one spends less than half as much to travel the same distance in an EV than the usual vehicle. Electricity is less expensive and more efficient than gasoline.

For private use, the EVs may not be easy to adopt because they require specific business ecology in order to operate. Investors will not immediately build them unless a comprehensive charging infrastructure, equivalent to the traditional petrol stations, is in place. But how can investors build these charging stations if there are not enough EV users who pay to charge their cars?

To address this, China has already built 412,000 charging stations to date; while India’s Energy Efficiency Services plans to put up 10,000 charging stations in the next two years. One option is for our local government units to raise this infrastructure which should coincide with private users and entrepreneurs’ plan to buy EVs.

As small and medium enterprises (SMEs) consider investing in EVs used for public transport like the big yellow buses, they look into making the venture profitable, knowing that there are still no charging stations. The time involved to charge EVs may not be a problem. It only takes minutes, thanks to ultracapacitor batteries. The main challenge, however, is the absence of charging stations.

So how can SMEs grab the opportunity? They can adopt an upstream strategy to control the supply side: while EVs are needed, investors must consider shelling out investments on both the infrastructure and the vehicles together. This way, they can put up a public transport business using EVs without relying on a complementary industry that may not come immediately.

Another route is for SMEs to invest in for-rent electric vans, cars, and buses serving foreign and local tourists. These investors can also do the same: build charging stations as they buy their EVs.

Entrepreneurs who own warehouses can build charging stations for their vehicles. Simultaneous with their operation, they can become game-changers by allowing nearby businesses to charge their electric vehicles using their charging stations, thereby making an additional income.

Ordinary people only see the end of the road; entrepreneurs see more—new worlds where the saying “that has not been done before” gives way for “anything can happen” like what the Wright brothers used to say.

We are tired of diesel vehicle systems that cause 500,000 early deaths in the EU alone and destroy the planet. We can no longer allow the oil economy to make our lives a slippage by default.