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More Cambodians drive EVs as gov’t looks for investors

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Transport minister Sun Chanthol (centre) at the May 27 live event titled ‘Electric vehicle [EV] use in Cambodia’. TRANSPORT MINISTRY

More Cambodians drive EVs as gov’t looks for investors

A total of 84 electric vehicles (EV) have been registered in Cambodia year-to-date, marking a more than nine-fold increase from just nine in the same period of 2021, according to the transport minister on May 27.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol made the remark at a live event titled “Electric vehicle [EV] use in Cambodia”, expressing pride and admiration for the encouraging trend.

Chanthol expects at least 40 per cent of cars and 70 per cent of motorcycles on the road to be electric by 2050, in line with the Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and other government plans.

The minister called on Cambodians to switch to the “cost-effective” EVs, saying that a 100km battery charge for an electric car currently costs $4, compared to the $10 for the fuel required by their conventional counterparts to cover the same distance.

He commented that the transport ministry is working with other ministries to issue a joint declaration regarding the establishment of charging stations and the installation of charging points.

Although the transport ministry welcomes investment in EV charging facilities, the customary procedures must be followed, Chanthol cautioned, suggesting that interested parties keep in touch with the ministry’s General Department of Land Transport during the application process and contact state-run energy supplier Electricite du Cambodge regarding power-supply matters.

Cambodia must brace itself for changes, as automakers shift to alternative fuel vehicles and the EU moves to ban new petrol and diesel car sales from 2035, the minister stressed, adding that EVs were subject to lower import tax rates.

On the other hand, “if all cars use electricity in the future, we will have to build more power plants”, he noted.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya attributed the increased EV use in the Kingdom to an increase in the number of authorised importers and greater public interest due to the vehicles’ cost-effectiveness.

“Using EVs may not be harmful to the environment, but the important thing is that it costs less,” he told The Post on May 29.

However, he conceded that the ministry needs more investment partners to set up additional EV charging points across the country to support the transition to the new generation of vehicles.

The ministry says it has registered 148 EVs since 2021 – 38 of them two- or three-wheelers – and is working with development partners such as UNDP to install charging points in the capital as well as Preah Sihanouk, Battambang and Siem Reap provinces.

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