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UNDP agrees to help build first charging stations for EVs

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Public works minister Sun Chanthol requested that the UNDP establish charging stations for electric vehicles on January 5. TRANSPORT MINISTRY

UNDP agrees to help build first charging stations for EVs

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has requested that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) set up electric car charging stations in Cambodia to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) that will contribute to the protection of the environment and to achieving a carbon-neutral Kingdom ahead of schedule.

The request was made on January 5 by Chanthol when he chaired a meeting at the ministry to review the progress of the initiative on modernising Cambodian driver’s licences and hear reports on EV strategies and the creation of a Telegram channel for receiving and providing information on road traffic conditions.

Chanthol said that for the EV strategy, the ministry has asked UNDP to help set up five charging stations, with one of them installed at the ministry’s headquarters in Phnom Penh and four others set up in the capital and provinces.

“To start promoting the use of electric cars, the ministry has sought funding to purchase two electric vehicles as models to demonstrate that the ministry endorses the use of them,” he said, adding that EVs play an important role in reducing carbon emissions and their use in Cambodia would reduce the air pollution that takes people’s lives each year.

According to Chanthol, the ministry is developing policies for the support of EVs in the Kingdom to ensure that the overall infrastructure for them exists in Cambodia, including battery stations, charging stations, mechanics, spare part distributors, trained technicians and greater facilities and capacity for the disposal of batteries.

Nou Chanthy, a resident of the capital who drives a 2017 Prius Prime hybrid electric vehicle, was overjoyed to hear that the ministry was working on plans to install charging stations.

“As a consumer, I would be very happy if the ministry established this as soon as possible. It would be better to install these stations in many locations because electric cars are rising in popularity in Cambodia but the lack of charging stations is hindering their growth here,” he said.

Chanthy said his electric car not only helps the environment, but also helps reduce his costs.

“Remarkably, while I have been using this car I’ve only paid about $10 a month for gasoline. While it’s true that I’m spending a bit more on electricity for charging at home, overall it still costs less to drive than before,” he said.

He said that with his car, charging for two hours meant he could drive for about 50km within the city before plugging it in again.

Transport ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post on January 6 that UNDP has agreed to the request and will assist in the construction of the charging stations. The ministry was now studying the technicalities, as there are different EV types from different countries.

“There are many types of electric cars to study and many types of batteries. They are manufactured by companies in the US, China, UK, Korea and so on. The problem is that the charging plugs are all different,” he said, adding that the charging costs would depend on the type of car and the price of electricity at the time.

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