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E-bikes next big hit in PH

May 2, 2023 Mario Fetalino Jr. 445 views

Mario FetalinoLAST year, a very persistent friend offered to me her e-bike for a reasonable price. The unit was ‘pre-loved’ and quite small.

Though lacking in size, the e-bike I acquired can take me to places without going through the menacing vehicular traffic, thus helping me save precious time and effort.

Most importantly, I support the global push for sustainability when I use my e-bike obviously because it doesn’t run on fuel.

E-bikes are going to be the next big thing in the Philippines, said my friend after she turned over the unit to me. Although I wasn’t very much convinced about it at that time, recent developments are proving her claim is true.

More people are starting to use e-bikes particularly in my Las Pinas neighborhood. But the biggest indication of a promising e-bike industry is the recent deal for e-bike production in the country.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. of the Ayala Group and California-based Zero Motorcycles on a strategic manufacturing collaboration on electric motorcycles.

In a news update released by the Presidential Communications Office, the cooperation agreement has a projected amount of $65 million to support the Philippines’ development of its electric vehicle ecosystem.

The US-based company will take the lead in establishing the first electronic vehicle (EV) motorcycle manufacturing site in the Philippines.

IMI, for its part, will assemble Zero’s electric motorcycle models as well as other assemblies in its facility in Laguna in conjunction with the manufacturing facilities for Zero in California.

The IMI-Zero operations are expected to employ 200 workers for its assembly line, from manufacturing, packing and shipping 18,000 EVs per year.

During the meeting, Zero said the Philippines is a “clear choice” for its operations as the firm aims to globalize its manufacturing business, targeting Europe, Asia and other markets, while supporting US demands for sub-assemblies.

“The Philippines for us is a perfect partner to expand our manufacturing. This is a good place for us to build a global manufacturing base,” a representative of Zero said.

IMI said it is uniquely positioned to have both the competency of electronics manufacturing as well as bike assembly under one roof.

Zero’s electric motorcycles will be made available in 2024 through AC Industrials.

Joining the President in the business meeting were Speaker Martin Romualdez, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil, and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

Among those who attended the meeting for the IMI include Ayala Corporation chairperson Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Automotive and Industrial regional manager Dave Corry, while Zero Motorcycles were represented by its chief executive officer Sam Paschel and Alex Acket, chief operating officer.

More power to e-bikes!

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