Renewables, Hybrids Pushed at Philippine Auto Show

By dancurranjr On August 23rd, 2008

Car makers’ claims of seeking cleaner technologies drew a push from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who called for the entry of hybrid vehicles and the passage of a renewable energy measure Thursday at the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show.

Mrs. Arroyo, speaking at the autoshow’s opening called on carmakers to press for congressional approval of the bill, which seeks to promote the use of alternative power sources such as biofuels.

Members of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI), the show’s organizer, said they welcomed Mrs. Arroyo’s call.

“For renewable energy, we can harness the sun, wind and geothermal resources and produce our own clean fuels through biofuels and not rely on foreign suppliers,” Mrs. Arroyo said.

“But we need the will of the people and the support of CAMPI to move our political leaders to embrace this new clean Green Philippines.”

The renewable energy bill has been approved by the House of Representatives but it still undergoing plenary discussions at the Senate.

Mrs. Arroyo also called for hybrids, or models that use both fuel and electricity.

“The automotive industry of the Philippines produces hybrid models producing flexifuel engines that blend ethanol with gasoline fuel. We await the hybrid models that shift from gasoline fuel to electric power at the touch of the button,” she said.

Car firms said they concurred with the call but said a number of issues, particularly costs, are hampering the entry of new technologies.

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. President Hiroshi Shimizu said the cost of hybrids would be high given existing tax rules.

CAMPI President Elizabeth Lee said she expects hybrids to be introduced, with costs to drop when sales and production hit critical mass.

The motorshow, which will run until Sunday, aims to showcase the industry’s commitment to a cleaner and safer future.

Ms. Lee said local auto sales have remained robust despite a global economic crisis, rising 14.2% as of July.

Source: GMA News

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