Korea eyeing collaboration with the Philippines on electric vehicles, smart grids
Published : Friday, June 17th, 2011
By : Manila Bulletin
The “hot technological trend” in this country right now is smart grid which will also integrate the massive deployment of electric vehicles. These are the areas of collaboration that Korea has offered to the Philippines.
“We are hoping that our members would be able to strike collaboration with the Philippines on smart grid or other ventures, such as electric vehicles. And we are also hoping that Korean companies will have greater investments in your country,” Byung-Il Park, director of the business promotion department of the Korea Electrical Manufacturers Association (KOEMA) said.
In the electricity sector, he noted that promotional and business matching activities are already being undertaken with the Philippines, especially in the sphere of reducing system loss for the electric cooperatives.
KOEMA, which counts the big Korean companies such as Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) among its members, noted that new opportunities may arise as “prospective partnership route” for both countries, primarily in the well-envisioned modernization of the electric grids.
Kepco, which also counts the Philippines as the initial base of its overseas investments, is now moving notches ahead in its smart grid investment project in Jeju island.
On alternative transport program, Korea is currently leaning more towards hybrid vehicles. Nevertheless, KOEMA indicated plans for the deployment of some 25,000 electric vehicles (EV) through 2012 – to be spearheaded by Korea’s homegrown carmarker Hyundai.
“Hyundai has the technology and the expertise which it can share with other countries, including the Philippines, if your government will open up opportunities,” Park stressed.
The propagation of electric vehicles will be part of Korea’s solution to reducing the emissions’ contribution of its transport sector. This is in line with its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and the succeeding international agreement on climate change risk mitigation.
And with the integration of the charging stations/systems with the smart grid project of Kepco, the deployment of EVs is expected to eventually flourish. The Philippines is also keeping an eye on its EV deployment aspiration – starting with the introduction of electric tricycles; and soon, electric buses.
There is a grand plan to put on the road some 100,000 e-tricycles in a stretch decade; while the ascend of e-buses in Metro Manila thoroughfares is expected to be more gradual as the supporting infrastructures have yet to be built also.