The Lao government will allow investments by domestic and foreign entrepreneurs in the development of electric vehicles (EVs) in Laos to benefit motorists and reduce the import of fuel-inefficient cars against the backdrop of a global spike in energy prices.
The number of EV users within the country has been increasing since Laos was hit by the high prices of oil and a shortage of fuel, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines, Daovong Phonekeo, said at The Third Ordinary Session of the National Assembly of Laos on Thursday.
The government plans to increase the number of EVs to about one percent of total vehicles by 2025, including motorcycles, buses and cars, and to install at least 50 charging stations, he said.
The government’s policy for promoting EVs includes zero percent tariffs, an excise tax of only three percent and a value-added tax of seven percent in order to lower the prices of EVs, Daovong said.
The Lao government is also encouraging its organizations to allocate funds to purchase EVs in order to cut expenditure, said Daovong.
The promotion of EVs is part of efforts to promote the use of clean energy in the transport sector, in order to translate the government’s policy into an action plan by 2025, a strategy by 2030, and a vision by 2050.
The use of EVs is also aimed at minimizing fuel imports and reducing harmful emissions, as well as fulfilling the national agenda for addressing the country’s economic and financial difficulties.
Laos has abundant potential to produce electricity from water, solar power, wind, and waste materials.
In order to increase the number of EV dealers, the government will not impose restrictions on the import of such vehicles, but vehicles imported and sold in Laos must meet international standards for quality, safety, after-sales service and maintenance.
This must include a system for managing waste resulting from the operation of EV businesses.
The government will encourage businesses to set up factories for the production of EV parts and other components, and invest in the development of charging stations throughout the country.