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EV Growth in Cambodia Is Part of Cambodia’s Pledge towards Carbon Neutrality

PHNOM PENH: With the rising price of gasoline after two years of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to see the toll on the general public, especially on those whose livelihood revolves around transportation. At the Electric Vehicle Showcase and Inauguration Ceremony of EV Charging Stations on the morning of 26 March 2022 at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Senior Minister Sun Chanthol said that the growth of EV in Cambodia will contribute to the path of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Mr. Reth is one of many motto-taxi drivers in Cambodia who has been struggling financially due to the rising price of gasoline.

He said, “Presently, moto taxi has many problems because of the rising price of gasoline. Before I used to get 5000 to 6000 riel for a short distance and earned a little bit of money. With the rising price of gasoline, there’s no profit. Before I used to earn 30000 riel in a day, now that is hard to do.”

The government is aware of the issues inflicted on the people as well as fighting the climate crisis, and thus, the electric vehicle showcase from nine brands include BYD Cambodia, Car4You, Hongqi, Oyika, Onion Mobility, Jaguar, CominKhmere, Miku, and Voltra.

Senior Minister Sun Chanthol was surprised to see the variations of eclectic motorcycle and car brands in Cambodia including Onion Mobility tuk-tuks, or 3-wheelers, which are built in Cambodia.

“The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is committed to lead, to assist, to cooperate with various government agencies and private sectors to push the EVs in order to contribute to the reduction of CO2 in the environment, to ensure that we will meet our objective to help [beat] the carbon neutrality by 2050,” he said.

UNDP has provided four fast-charging stations to encourage the use of EV. One has been placed at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport; they will also place one at each of the following provinces Siem Reap, Battambang, and Sihanoukville. Some gasoline stations, Total, Caltex, PTT so far and the rest to follow, have pledged to put their own fast-charging stations in important areas.

Resident Representative of UNDP Cambodia, Alissar Chaker has added that with the recent grant from Japan, they are able to help support access to energy for people who are not on the grid and work on energy efficiency in buildings, to cut down on wastage and to use the energy efficiently in a more meaningful manner. Thus, she was happy to support e-mobility in Cambodia. She is working with the government to create more shares of renewable energy onto the grid. She also believes that with the focus on renewable energy, Cambodia will be able to create a whole new workforce market which will be important for the future economic development of Cambodia.

She said, “This shift or this energy transition, whether you know, normally, energy settings and also in the e-mobility will need new expertise, they need new markets, they need new products. And for this we need really, you know, to invest in the developing the skill and expertise, the Cambodian skill and expertise, but also to put the right law, the right energy transition happens in Cambodia, cutting down on other types of pollution, you know, that might also affect the environment. And of course, increase as much as possible more the renewable energy in the grid, new solar energy, so that we can be efficient. We cut down on the emissions and reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible.”

Chhoun Voun, Director-General of the General Department of Land Transport, agreed that EV is the future. It will help create more jobs. With new technology, it will help develop human resources with the latest technology while cutting down on pollution with the rest of the world. The Ministry is aware of the increase of electricity usage and how Cambodia has dealt with electric shortage before. The Ministry is working with EDC.

He said, “Regarding the energy source, we have talked to the Ministry of EDC. [With EV] we will have to use a lot of electricity, but we will cooperate together to provide enough electricity for EVs and EDC. Working on the energy source and clean energy as well so that it won’t harm the environment.”

In addition to saving money on pricey gasoline, electric vehicles have been especially helpful for Thorn Kimsan and Mean Vanak. Thorn Kimsan, a person with disabilities, said that it has been easy to use his e-bike to sell. He only needs to use his hand to move around. It’s especially helpful for him to go up and down the hills without much effort. For Mean Vanak, as a kid, e-bike is lighter and safer as it doesn’t drive fast. 

In partnership with A24




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