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Lao Government Backs the Use of Electric Vehicles to Conserve Energy Supplies

Source: Vientiane Times

The Lao government is strongly encouraging the use of electrically powered vehicles in a bid to reduce the need for imported fuel and ensure greater security in the provision of energy.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Mr. Thongphat Inthavong said the ministry will promote the use of electric vehicles by people in both rural and urban areas, adding that these vehicles are much cheaper to run than petrol-powered cars and therefore easier on household budgets.

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It has been observed that more people in Laos are starting to use electric vehicles. Last year, the number in use was recorded at 3,201, comprising 1,428 cars and 1,773 motorcycles. Increased use of electric vehicles will support the ministry’s policy to promote the use of clean energy in the transport sector, the development plan until 2025, the strategy for 2030, and the vision for 2050, which were approved under Prime Ministerial Decree No. 231. The ministry is formulating policies and plans for transition to the use of electric vehicles and is working on regulations around the installation of public charging stations.

These will include setting conditions on the issuing of licences for such services. One of the main issues concerns the price to be charged for electricity usage, which should not exceed that indicated by the Lao Electricity Authority. This is the body responsible for setting standards for the use of charging stations, which should be in line with international practices.

In addition, dealerships selling electric vehicles must guarantee the quality of their products, be able to provide spare parts and offer after-sales service.
There are currently 20 charging stations in Laos and 18 dealerships that have expressed interest in importing electric vehicles for sale across the country.

In 2021, the government announced it would purchase electric vehicles for use by state leaders, as part of its policy to cut fuel imports and reduce harmful gas emissions. By replacing gasoline vehicles with electrically-powered cars, the government believes it can make a huge cut in expenditure on state vehicles and further implement its austerity policy.

The government issued a resolution on its policy to promote the use of electric vehicles, aiming to increase the number in use to 1 percent by 2025 and at least 30 percent by 2030.