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MIAS is EV-rything

MIAS is EV-rything

For EV enthusiasts, here are 5 must-see showcases in an ‘EV-olving’ international auto show

There’s a lot on every Pinoy’s plate right now: Upcoming national elections; Covid-19 seemingly not there but still there; worrying rise in fossil fuel prices, followed by the inevitable rise of prices of basic commodities…the list goes on.

But we’re a car-crazy nation, and the last two years have proven that not even deadly viruses, lockdowns, maddening home quarantines, and rabid politics can stop us from swooning over our dream and aspirational rides. It’s our fascination with automobiles that has kept the auto industry, and the country’s most prominent auto show—the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS)—going even amidst the pandemic (albeit the MIAS being held strictly online in 2021).

And now that the 17th edition of MIAS will be in full swing tomorrow (April 7) to Sunday (April 10) at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (just like the old days), expect the cares and worries of the real world to melt away as soon as crowds enter the cavernous halls and they’re bombarded with the sights and sounds of the latest and greatest rides this side of the planet.

There will be noticeable changes in the roster of displays in this year’s shows, however. One of the most notable ones would be the emergence of electrified vehicles, which would be a stark manifestation of the global transport industry’s objective to wean the market away from vehicles powered by fossil fuel-powered internal combustion engines (ICEs) and migrate it to supposedly cleaner and more sustainable electric vehicles (EVs) powered by batteries or fuel cells.

So, aside from a “quieter” section of the WTC come Thursday opening, what does the MIAS 2022 have in store for its EV showcases? Here are the five confirmed displays that will “electrify” visitors starting tomorrow.

1) EVAP’s electric pickup and Wallbox EV charger

The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP) will showcase an electric pickup truck that will be used by the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp for servicing the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax). Aside from that, the group will display a wallbox charging pod. This was confirmed by EVAP president Edmund Araga.

EVAP chair Ferdinand Raquelsantos further disclosed that the electric pickup comes from Pilipinas Autogroup Inc, the exclusive importer and distributor of the Dongfeng auto brand. Officially called the Dongfeng Rich EV 6—the e-pickup isn’t yet for sale, as Pilipinas Autogroup Inc. is still preparing its network and after-sales support for EVs. The wallbox EV charging pod, on the other hand, comes from Pesin (Power Equipment and Supplies Inc).

2) Nissan Leaf and e-Power tech

Nissan Philippines Inc will be showcasing the all-electric Leaf and launching its e-Power drivetrain. According to Dax Avenido, NPI’s general manager for communications, the compact 5-door Leaf hatchback’s vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability will be highlighted, including its Power Mover accessory, which will illustrate the Leaf’s ability to become an alternative electricity source.

Meanwhile, Nissan’s e-Power technology shows how adding a gasoline engine to the Leaf to charge the high-output battery (when necessary) eliminates the need for an external charger, while offering the same high output as an EV. As such, the e-Power system offers a full electric motor drive, a high-output battery and the powertrain integrated with a gasoline engine, power generator, inverter and a motor. In conventional hybrid systems, the wheels are driven by an electric motor and a gasoline engine. However, in the e-Power system, the gasoline engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery. And unlike a full EV, the power source is the engine, rather than just the battery.

3) Geely’s Mild hybrid

My well-entrenched insider says Geely will most likely display the Azkarra hybrid. This was later confirmed by Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corp—the official Philippine distributor of the Geely brand.

The Azkarra Luxury mild hybrid, which I was able to test drive some time ago, features the 48V EMS that makes the electric motor work in synergy with the gasoline engine. It can identify the operating conditions of the engine intelligently, start or shut down actively, and supply or recoup the energy output from the engine. The EMS functions to increase horsepower, improve fuel economy and reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. The 48V battery can go beyond 10 years, and doesn’t cost as much as the full-hybrid batteries.

I do hope the luxury mild hybrid will now have the same seats as its Premium counterpart due to the fact that the Premium’s upholstery is made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) instead of the animal-based leather that the Luxury mild hybrid flaunts. Seats not made from animal skin are always kinder to defenseless, innocent creatures.

4) Volvo’s hybrid

Volvo Philippines will be introducing its 2022 Boost Hybrid Range on April 7. I tried to get in touch with Volvo, but no details were shared as of presstime. Insiders have hinted that Volvo would be displaying hybrid or electric versions of all of its models in this year’s MIAS.

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5) Changan Eado EV 460

Changan Motor Philippines Inc—the country’s official distributor of Changan vehicles—will showcase its Eado electric vehicle EV460, among others.

In a statement, CMPI said: “Throw in present-day concerns about gas prices rocketing sky-high, and it makes urgent sense to get serious about switching to EV and establishing the required ecosystem for it.”

CMPI claims that Changan International Corp would be the first auto manufacturer to roll out EVs for volume production.

The purely electric Eado EV 460 was among CMPI’s first five offerings to the public during the brand’s November 2020 launch.

The Eado’s green DNA dates back to the first-generation model which took the five-star safety rating at the China New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in 2012, beating six of its locally produced peers at that time.

The R&D team at the Changan new energy labs loaded the Eado EV460 with the industry’s pioneering “three-in-one electric drive” system which allows the energy of each charge to be released to the fullest, achieving longer endurance at the same power level.

CMPI stressed that this is a major breakthrough as it resolves the nagging issue of “slow charging.” It takes eight hours to fully charge the Eado EV460, which means that you can plug it in overnight without worrying about the next day’s drive. And you only need 30 minutes to do a fast-charge (30-80 percent).