Trailblazing joint venture QEV inks deal with SM Malls for EV charging stations » Manila Bulletin Business

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By Myrna M. Velasco

Shown after the signing of the agreement are (from left): Audrey Peñaranda, Endika Aboitiz, Steven Tan, Engr. Bien Mateo, and Liza Silerio.

QEV Philippines, a trailblazing joint venture of Spanish lineage businessmen Endika Aboitiz and Enrique Banuelos, gained another headway on planned installations of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in a deal that it recently inked with SM Supermalls.

“SM mall-goers may have access to these charging stations to plug in-compatible electric vehicles as early as February 2018,” QEV has noted in a media statement.

These EV fast-charging infrastructures will be of the ABB model – and must work either as a combined charging system (CCS) or the CHArge de Move” (CHAdeMo) quick charging method for battery electric vehicles.

“While most European cars like BMW already have vehicles that charge with CCS, most Japanese-branded EVs such as Nissan and Mitsubishi make use of CHAdeMo,” the EV start-up firm said.

The company’s target is to put up over 200 fast EV charging facilities nationwide within the five-year timeframe or until year 2022.

According to QEV Philippines General Manager Audrey Peñaranda, “initial deployment of the charging stations for SM Malls will be within Metro Manila.”

Nevertheless, she qualified that “depending on the circumstances, we might see deployments in strategic areas like Clark very soon.”

On the EV charging protocol, she acknowledged that there are in fact a lot being rolled out in the market today. “But based on our technological partner’s studies, the direction more and more car manufacturers are taking is adopting CCS for their future car models.”

She opined that “with the main cars in the Philippines being Japanese and them adopting CHAdeMO protocols, what we plan on bringing to the Philippines are these two established and standard charging protocols used in Europe, the United States and Japan.”

While it remains a lofty ambition, Peñaranda noted that their aim is “to make the standards in the Philippines the same as what is used by major car manufacturers in the world today for EV,” for the likes of Ford, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Mitsubishi and Kia.

The only ‘missing middle’ on these targets at this point is when the electric vehicles would really penetrate the market for commercial scale rollout.

Further, the requisite policies must also be in place, including test protocols for array of electric vehicles envisioned to be thriving eventually in the country.

“The DOE (Department of Energy) has a technical working group in charge of the protocols and we are closely working with them in helping them determine what protocols need to be adopted by the market and why,” Peñaranda stressed.

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