It was a warm, electrifyingly sunny November morning when we arrived at the Nissan Mantrade dealership along Pasong Tamo Avenue in Makati. ten minutes before eight. My wife Shawie and I were invited by the good people of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) for the first-ever Electric Vehicle (EV) Eco-Run, which they dubbed as “Accelerating the Switch to EV Charging”. We were asked to be at the dealership early to get our 2021 Nissan Leaf EV that was being lent to us by our good friends at Nissan Philippines (NPI).
It really felt nice to be out again, to be participating in a live event (instead of an online one) and simply to be with friends. NPI’s Peter Tom Tolibas warmly welcomed us into the Nissan dealership and presented the keys to our Leaf EV. A few minutes later, EVAP officer and EV Owners Society (EVOS) President Ferdi Racquelsantos arrived in his 2021 DongFeng EX1 EV. We greeted each other like long lost brothers, and then afterwards, he signaled to everyone that we have a few minutes to have our passports stamped by the dealership guard and that we had to roll.
Taking the Long Loop
Ferdi advised us to take the “Long Loop“, which starts at the Nissan dealership on Pasong Tamo Avenue, then right on to EDSA until we reach the UNIOIL Service and EV Fast Charging Station in Guadalupe. We learned that EVAP’s EV Eco-Run and its theme “Accelerating the Switch to EV Charging” was organized to demonstrate support to a proposed legislation in Congress that promotes the widespread use of EVs in the Philippines. EVAP hopes to create awareness among motorists that EVs are inevitable and that the creation of more charging stations like UNIOIL’s EV Fast Charging Station is one way of supporting the infrastructure for clean electric mobility.
After the formalities and pleasantries at UNIOIL Guadalupe, we remounted our EVs and drove north towards the Greenhills, San Juan area and into the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) dealership, where we also have to get our passports stamped and our photos taken. The dealership is currently marketing their all-electric Jaguar I-Pace EV and Range Rover plug-in hybrid SUV to show support for EVAP’s participation in the ongoing 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which started on October 31st and will last until November 12th in Glasgow, Scotland. COP26 aims to promote the goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to help safeguard the environment.
Onwards to Bonifacio Global City
Once we were done at the Jaguar Land Rover dealership, we sped off southwards to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) for our next two destinations. We drove up to the Ortigas Flyover onto the Business District, passed through the road between Valley Verde Country Club and Capitol Commons, took a left on Canley Road and out on C-5 highway. Once we cleared the traffic on C-5, we drove into BGC and into the compound of the Department of Energy (DOE), where we were impressed with the orderly, systematic and enthusiastic reception waiting for the EV Eco-Run participants.
The last stop of our EV Eco Run Long Loop was at the Ford BGC dealership of the Autohub Group. Autohub Chairman Willy Tee Ten graciously provided the venue on the 5th floor of the service and parking structure, where all the participants and their EVs were able to gather. We were happy to meet up with Mark Tieng, whose Build Your Dreams (BYD) Philippines distributorship started selling all electric cars for the past two years. We also learned that Marc took the South Loop that started from Nissan Mantrade, through their BYD dealership at the corner of Buendia and Dian Street in Makati, through UNIOIL Guadalupe and ending at DOE in BGC.
Unrelenting Thrust Towards Electromobility
During the awarding ceremonies at Ford BGC, EVAP President Edmund Araga thanked the sponsors, supporters and participants of their first-ever EV Eco-Run. He reiterated EVAP’s unrelentingly thrust towards the use of EVs in the country in line with the rising international drive towards a greener planet. He cited DOE Director Patrick Aquino for his continuous support for EVAP’s programs, and thanked Dax Avenido and Nissan Philippines, Mark Tieng and BYD Philippines, DongFeng Philippines, for their support as well as Wallbox, which distributes wall-mounted charging systems for EVs, the local motoring media, and all the private entrants, especially the EVOS members who took the time to participate in this event. Araga looks forward to more events that would promote electromobility in the country.
Shawie and I were surprised when Ferdi Racquelsantos announced that we were able to set the best time of 52 minutes in the Long Loop. Our initial intention was to simply chronicle EVAP’s first-ever EV Eco Run. Being invited as a participant and experiencing the camaraderie with EV owners and enthusiasts was already a blessing while winning was a bonus. With developed countries banning internal combustion engines in major cities in the very near future, EVs will become inevitable, even for developing countries like us. We’re just thrilled that EVAP and EVOS continue to plant the seeds of electromobility here in the Philippines, and with this EV Eco Run as a great start.