A Cambodian-produced electric car, the Angkor EV 2013, was officially unveiled yesterday by the Heng Development Company, based in Kandal province.
Heng Development general director Seang Chan Heng said the car, designed by local innovator Nhean Phalloek, was a great achievement.
Nhean Phalloek said the battery-powered Angkor EV 2013 could travel 300 kilometres between charges and had a top speed of 60 kilometres an hour.
Seang Chan Heng blamed delays in building the car, intended for use in the domestic market, on a former business partner who dropped out of the project.
In March, 2011, Seang Chan Heng signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chou Leang Alliance Group and Nhean Phalloek in a $20 million deal to produce between 500 and 1,000 battery-powered cars a year, using 300 workers.
“I am really disappointed in [the] partner company, which had co-operated with us in the past,” she said.
“I waited [for] them day after day, month after month, for six months without samples and moulds.”
Seang Chan Heng said that although the Angkor EV 2013 had been unveiled, the number of cars that would be produced each year, and the amount of any new investment necessary, was not yet known.
“In 2013, we will sell some cars in the market, but the actual number we don’t know yet,” she said.
“But I can assure you that... my company and Mr Phalloek will have some cars for sale.”
The price of the Angkor EV 2013 has yet to be determined, but according to Seang Chan Heng it would be less than $10,000.
The company is looking for technicians to work at the factory, in the Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district.
“From now on, we will have an Angkor car that has been produced by Khmers,” Seang Chan Heng said.
“We have everything. We can show pictures of the car, and we are waiting to get orders from customers.
“We will start to produce the Angkor car in the market. ”
Some components of the Angkor EV 2013 were produced in Cambodia.
Other components were imported from China, Japan and Germany, according to Nhean Phalloek.
He added that the recent opening of an automotive-parts factory in Koh Kong province was a good signal for domestic auto production, as fewer components would have to be ordered from abroad.
Spare parts produced in Cambodia were cheaper and could be supplied more quickly, Nhean Phalloek said.
National Assembly Vice President Khoun Sodary said the creation of the Angkor 2013 was a sign of the pride of Khmer people.
“We have a history of wonderful citizens and culture,” she said.
In January 2009, two villagers were shot and wounded by military police while trying to prevent bulldozers from starting work on the car factory, as part of a dispute over ownership of the land.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at firstname.lastname@example.org