Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp. will soon set up a joint venture with Taiwan’s leading electric bike maker, Gogoro, entering the e-scooter business in its home market, Ayala said on Friday.
In addition to importing, selling, and maintaining motorcycles, The joint venture will provide battery-swapping stations. Ayala is involved in urban development and running commercial facilities, and believes building the associated infrastructure will enhance the new venture’s business.
Three companies will invest a total of USD 8.5 million in the venture, with Ayala Corp. contributing 21%, 917 Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom within Ayala group, contributing 49% and Gogoro chipping in 30%.
Ayala is accelerating its decarbonization efforts, including a shift to renewable energy in its power business. It has recently signed a distributor agreement with Chinese battery and electric car maker BYD. The Philippine company hopes this will create commercial opportunities by promoting EVs, along with decarbonization.
The Philippines does not have a well-developed railway network, making cars and motorbikes an important means of transportation. However, EVs are a rarity on public roads. In all, there were about 10,000 EVs, including electric motorbikes, registered in the country as of last year.
EVs are not as widespread in the Philippines as in neighboring countries like Thailand, but of the 10,000 vehicles about 8,000 are two- or three-wheelers, highlighting potential demand for electric motorbikes.
Gogoro, one of Taiwan’s fast-growing startups, has been called the Tesla of electric motorcycles. The company offers a unique system that lets riders exchange batteries quickly at spots around town in case of emergency.
The Philippine government is promoting EVs, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signing an executive order in January exempting EV imports from tariffs for five years. Authorities plan to extend the exemption to motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles. Ayala and other businesses hope to take advantage of this policy to expand sales.