The transport minister has reiterated a call for more electric vehicle (EV) charging points to be built at filling stations nationwide, in a bid to encourage Cambodians to embrace the alternative-fuel vehicles.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol was speaking at a launch ceremony for a ministry public service centre and EV charging point on April 27 at Sihanoukville’s Furi Times Square Mall.

He revealed that PTT and Total have vowed to set up charging kiosks at their filling stations across Cambodia – the former planning to initially install 30 – whereas other petroleum companies have been more hesitant to commit to the investment, given the low EV adoption rate to date.

Regardless, the ministry is keen to work with the two companies, and others such as Tela and Sokimex, to set up more charging units as more Cambodians drive EVs, he said.

He added that 47 EVs were registered nationally in the first quarter of this year, compared to just seven during the same period in 2021. “In the future, I believe that the number of cars and EVs will increase significantly.”

The minister said that, with the assistance of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the ministry would now look to install charging kiosks in Battambang and Siem Reap provinces.

Chanthol shared that the ministry would set up the kiosks along the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, and discuss with the UN agency potentially installing them in Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Stung Treng provinces as well.

The minister suggested the charging units be set up “everywhere”, although noting that EVs nowadays can travel 500-600km in one charge.

Speaking at April 27’s ceremony, ministry director-general for land transport Chhoun Voun said the UNDP-provided charging points inaugurated in Sihanoukville and at the ministry – the latter of which was launched on March 26 – are an “important part” in promoting EV use in Cambodia.

He said that with 150kW output power, the kiosks could fully charge an EV battery in 15-30 minutes, as opposed to the lower-powered chargers commonly used elsewhere that could take as long as three-to-five hours.

At the same event, Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Cheav Vicheak said the commissioning of the EV charging point in Sihanoukville marks “a new era in the history of Cambodia and … [the] province”.

He said the kiosk would not only mainstream the benefits of EVs and the technologies associated with them as well as bolster their use nationwide, but also enhance the image of Preah Sihanouk and bring the province a new “level” of fame.