Laos expects to import electric vehicles in 2020


(Photo: VCG)

VIENTIANE, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Laos expects to import electric vehicles in 2020 to support the government's move to minimize the use of fossil fuels.

"The import of electric vehicles will follow the government's order for a pilot project, which will be run with full government support," EV Lao Company Limited Deputy Managing Director Thongchanh Santhasith told Vientiane Times on Thursday.

State-run Electricite du Laos (EDL) and the EV Lao Company Limited are currently testing the installation of charging stations at EDL, EV Lao Company Limited and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Twenty stations are expected to install in Lao capital Vientiane this year. Other priority locations include Wattay International Airport, bus stations, the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and various government organizations.

Tests are being run to compare operating costs between electric and fossil fuel vehicles as well as safety measures, and to ascertain the quality of the vehicles.

"We are discussing charging a special price for electricity at charging stations as well as tax benefits and other incentives to encourage the use of electric vehicles. We hope to finalize everything this year," Thongchanh said.

Thongchanh said the electric vehicles would cut running costs by up to five times compared to the cost of fossil fuels, but consumers would have to pay more for electric vehicles.

The use of electric vehicles would also help decrease the country's reliance on imported fossil fuels, he added.

Laos is promoting the use of clean energy in the transport sector as part of its measures to translate the government's policy into action.