Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp. has entered an agreement to sell Chinese automaker BYD’s electric vehicles in its home market, as it seeks to expand the country’s nascent EV market.
Under the deal announced Friday by Ayala, the group’s automobile division, AC Motors, is expected to handle sales and maintenance for BYD’s EVs through its sales network. A variety of models will likely be made available in the Philippines.
Ayala is one of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates and is involved in a wide range of businesses, including electric power, telecommunications, real estate, retail and banking. The group has set a goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Automobiles are the main method of transportation in the Philippines, as even Metropolitan Manila lacks developed railway networks. The country’s unique Jeepney minibus taxis are widely used but have a high environmental impact. It lags behind other major Southeast Asian countries in EV adoption.
Japan is a strong force in the Philippine automobile market, where Toyota Motor accounts for about 50% of new car sales, and Mitsubishi accounts for just under 20%. EVs becoming popular through Ayala’s BYD sales could cause a shift in the market.
However, infrastructure such as charging facilities is essential for the spread of EVs, and high electricity rates are a barrier across Southeast Asia. Ayala will need to leverage group businesses to establish a system to support BYD EV sales.