Why MVP can't use Tesla car on Philippine roads

Posted at 12/05/2013 12:39 AM | Updated as of 12/05/2013 12:42 AM

MANILA - Business tycoon and Meralco boss Manny V. Pangilinan owns a P4.2-million Tesla model-S car but can't drive it on Philippine roads because the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has no category for electric cars yet,a Meralco official has revealed.

Al Panlilio, Meralco's senior vice president for corporate communications and customer retail services, told "ANC Future Perfect" that there's no regulatory framework yet that would guide the LTO on how to register Pangilinan's car and finally put a license plate on the vehicle that does not run on gas and has zero emission.

"MVP bought it. But he can't use it, yet," he said, laughing.

He said the futuristic car has only been driven inside the Meralco compound in Pasig City.

Panlilio made the revelation while he showed an overview of the company's EV power station.

He said most of the station's 8 charging bays were designed locally by Meralco engineers.

"Maybe we should patent it here," he said.

Each charging bay features an LCD display that shows the total kilowatt hours consumed and the total peso amount based on the rate per kilowatt hour.

That rate has yet to be set by energy regulators.

For the typical electric vehicle running on lead-acid batteries, charging time may take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours.

For faster charging, Meralco is considering the adoption of the "chademo" interface, which allows compatible vehicles to recharge within 30 minutes.

Meralco designed one of the charging bays to make use of potentially cheaper and cleaner renewable energy.

"We have a solar power up in the roof and a small wind turbine, so we're also prototyping that," Panlilio said. "It actually supplies power here. So we want to understand that very well, so that when we do that it on a bigger scale."

Meralco's EV power station was launched in July.

While it's been limited to recharging the company's fleet of electric shuttles, the station eventually aims to show the technical and economic feasibility of setting up a recharging network for public e-transport and private e-vehicles -- including Pangilinan's premium Tesla model-S. - with ANC