Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DOE re-focuses safety on planned electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Published February 25, 2017, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco

With the planned investment rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, the Department of Energy (DOE) is re-focusing attention on safety roadblocks that may go with proposals to have them co-exist in gasoline refilling networks.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said this is one aspect that he would want the ad hoc technical working group (TWG) to assess and validate the concerns on.
Warnings were raised early on that EV charging infrastructure may not be feasibly sited close to gasoline stations because they may ignite unwanted fire hazards.
The energy chief said “we want the TWG to study the technical viability of the infrastructure, evaluate its safe operations by assessing the necessary protocols and standards, and to determine the required policies and its supporting legal basis.”
He then expects the technical team to “make recommendations on the advancement of e-vehicle charging stations and related infrastructures, such as viable options for locations like malls and other establishments.”
The success of EV in other countries had not only considered development terrains for cars and charging points, but also related equipment and facilities like batteries and their swapping stations; and in ensuring that these are not ‘throw away technologies’ or with very limited warranties. Safe disposal of used batteries is also in the policy equation.
Many markets also put focus on overcoming administrative and policy barriers, and such entailed reducing toll fees for EVs, enforcing lower parking rates and use of specialized lanes on the roads.
There have also been recommendations in other jurisdictions to base car taxes, no longer on the archaic power and capacity engines, but also considered carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Cusi said he initially paved the way for the TWG “to determine the suitability of gasoline stations as charging areas for electric or e-vehicles with the emergence of the electric vehicle industry in the Philippines.
The DOE-tasked TWG to determine electric mobility options in the country is co-chaired by the department’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau and the Oil Industry Management Bureau.

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