The government is preparing a policy framework and support structure for electric vehicles (EV) to encourage their use in Cambodia and beef up the carbon-emissions reduction gameplan, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol on November 4.

He underlined that EVs, which are available to the public in Cambodia, are a pivotal catalyst for the reduction of CO2 and associated emissions in the atmosphere and their harmful footprint on the environment.

The minister was speaking at a panel discussion on the “Electrification of Vehicles for a Cleaner Cambodia” in the capital, which was also attended by Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) director-general Keo Rottanak, British ambassador Tina Redshaw and her Australian counterpart Pablo Kang.

The minister arrived to the event in an all-electric Jaguar I-Pace crossover SUV, on which he commented: “It was a wonderful experience. On the one hand it’s just like a normal fuel engine car, and on the other hand, it’s a futuristic car – modern, smooth, quiet, efficient and it handled so well on the road.

“We have to ensure that we have a complete range of infrastructure and services for EVs in Cambodia, including charging stations, service centres with a ready supply of replacement spare parts, trained mechanics and battery disposal facilities.

“We must also certify that batteries imported into Cambodia are of good quality,” Chanthol stressed.

In a joint press statement, the Australian and the British embassies underlined that EVs could “empower” the Kingdom’s future.

The embassies called for more EV charging units to be installed at homes, offices and public spaces, to allow consumers easy access to charging their vehicles within their daily range.

The EdC’s Rottanak encouraged the acceleration of the synergies between transport electrification and the national electrical grid.

“Smart charging infrastructure can enable society to achieve a better balance between supply and demand on the grid, creating economic value for consumers and helping decarbonise the transport sector.”

Australian ambassador Pablo Kang said Cambodia has a great opportunity to be at the cutting edge of clean energy and EVs, by leveraging its abundant low-cost solar and wind power potential.

“Australia is proud to be sharing our knowledge and expertise with Cambodia in this exciting new chapter,” he said.

British ambassador Tina Redshaw highlighted the importance of transport electrification in emissions reduction, as global leaders meet for major climate talks at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scottish port city Glasgow.

“COP26 needs to drive the global energy transition toward zero emission transport. As we rebuild our economies, EVs will allow for the creation of new jobs and supply chains,” she said.

“I’m proud to be leading the charge as the first ambassador with an EV.”