A Chinese firm has submitted a formal proposal to the city government to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing plant, in a still undisclosed area in Bacolod City.
“This is an offshoot of our trip to China,” Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez announced yesterday, in a press briefing at the Bacolod City Government Center.
Benitez, who first met with the investors when he joined President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Beijing in January, said they received a draft copy of a memorandum of understanding from Jiangsu Fengchuen New Energy Power Technology Co. Ltd., which is eyeing to invest USD200 million for the proposed project.
“We are reviewing their proposal. They are very serious. There’s a document that they submitted (to us), a formal proposal. In fact, I might be meeting with them tonight to expand on this proposal,” he added.
Benitez said the company needs assistance for the establishment of e-vehicle charging stations.
“They are planning to enter first our public transportation system. In China, public transportation is mostly, if not a hundred percent, electric vehicles now, in response to the quest for a sustainable and renewable industry,” he added.
The mayor said that Jiangsu Fengchuen New Energy Power Technology Co. Ltd. will bring in test units to the city.
“We have to see first-hand if what they said in the presentation is what will really happen. If that happens, we can probably promote the conversion into e-vehicle,” he added.
For the vehicle’s look or design, the firm has proposed to preserve the cultural identity of Filipino public transport as such the e-vehicle will resemble the Philippines’ iconic “Sarao” jeepney.
“These are all proposals. The City Council is studying the formal proposal. Aside from this, I would like to see proof of concept. Once proven beneficial to our stakeholders, especially to our operators, then we can probably consider helping out into making the program a reality,” Benitez said.
The firm’s officials arrived in Bacolod City earlier this month to hold their initial meeting with Benitez.*PNA