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Govt Seeks Procurer Of 183 Electric Vehicles For Leaders

Source: Vientiane Times

The government is looking for a suitable company to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) for use by Party and state leaders, aiming to switch to EVs as the price of petrol soars.

The Ministry of Finance recently opened bidding for a business or businesses to carry out the procurement of 183 electric vehicles for use by top-four-level leaders, the Lao News Agency reported, and is now scrutinising applicants.

The planned electric fleet will comprise 23 vehicles with a power rating of 121kW-163kW and 160 vehicles with a power rating of 100kW-160kW.

Procurement of the vehicles is expected to take place this year, Minister of Finance Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth told Vientiane Times, although the budget for their purchase has not been yet calculated.

“We will calculate the budget after we have decided on a company to undertake procurement,” Mr Bounchom said.

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The selected bidder or bidders will be required to install charging points and provide after-sales service, including supplying spare parts.

Charging points are expected to be installed at petrol stations, where members of the public, who the government is also encouraging to use electric vehicles, can charge their cars, according to the minister.

The government has decided that Party and state leaders should use electric vehicles as an example to encourage members of the public to follow suit in an attempt to minimise petrol imports, while also protecting the environment.

“The government intends to reduce petrol imports because this requires a huge amount of foreign currency,” Mr Bounchom said.

“Therefore, leaders will use [EVs] as an example of frugality.”

Efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles have been ramped up amid skyrocketing petrol prices that have caused a public outcry.

Newly-appointed senior state leaders will be provided with electric vehicles and no longer be given petrol-consuming cars. Leaders who are currently using petrol-powered cars will continue to use them until they are phased out. They will be given electric vehicles instead and their old cars will be sold off at auction, the minister said. 

He added that procurement will take place in phases, not all at one time.

The vehicles to be procured must be fitted with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, certified under the UNCEC R100, R136 testing processes.

As the price of oil soars, the sale of electric vehicles has increased worldwide.

Global sales of new all-electric vehicles more than doubled from 2 million units in 2020 to 4.5 million units in 2021, Xinhua reported last month, citing a study published by the auditing and consulting services company PwC Strategy& (Germany).

China was by far the biggest market for new battery electric vehicles (BEVs), accounting for 2.9 million unit sales in 2021, up 172 percent compared to 2020.

BEV registrations in Europe’s five largest markets grew by 72.4 percent year-on-year and reached 800,000 in 2021, according to the study.

The US market for all-electric vehicles grew to almost 400,000 units and was showing promising signs of growth as BEV sales there were up 62 percent year-on-year.