Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing (Cambodia) Co Ltd plans to ramp up imports of hybrid vehicles (HV) into the Kingdom, as part of a campaign to encourage Cambodians to switch to the eco-friendly transportation alternative and reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a transport ministry statement.

The plan was revealed during a meeting between company CEO Ryoji Fujita and Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol at the ministry on October 11, the statement noted. This comes just over a month after the firm received government approval to set up a vehicle assembly plant in the capital.

Noting that HV adoption would be step forward towards Cambodia’s 2050 carbon neutrality target, Fujita asked the ministry to look into working with its finance counterpart to lower import duties on the vehicles to better motivate Cambodians to make the switch.

The minister commented that the government is collaborating with partners to install public electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure nationwide, as well as to promote the widespread use of EVs in the Kingdom.

“Support for easing import duties, especially in the case of HVs brought up by Toyota, would only be possible by requesting to talk it over with the Ministry of Economy and Finance,” he said.

Chanthol has said that the state seeks to increase the proportion of electric cars and motorcycles on Cambodian roads to 40 and 70 per cent, respectively, by 2050, in line with the “Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality by 2050” and other government initiatives.

Finance ministry spokesman Meas Soksensan recommended the company raise the issue with the Government-Private Sector Working Group D on Law, Tax and Governance (GPSWG-D). “All suggestions should be made through the [GPSWG-D] … so that we can take the matter into consideration,” he said.

Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing (Cambodia) Co Ltd recently received the official green light for their proposed $36.7 million vehicle-assembly plant in Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, located just southwest of the capital’s airport.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on September 8 confirmed that its Cambodia Special Economic Zone Board (CSEZB) had agreed to issue a final registration certificate for the venture, noting that it is expected to create 150 jobs.

This comes nearly three months after RMA (Cambodia) Plc, an authorised Ford automobile distributor in the Kingdom, opened its vehicle-assembly plant in Pursat’s easternmost Krakor district on June 16, with registered investment capital of $21 million and plans to produce about 9,000 vehicles each year – Ford Ranger SUVs and Everest pickup trucks.