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PRESS RELEASEMarch 28, 2024

Setting Up Cambodia for Successful Transition to Electric Mobility

PHNOM PENH, March 28, 2024 — Cambodia can achieve its ambitious targets for increasing the proportion of electric vehicles on its roads if it follows a carefully designed plan to do so, according to a World Bank report released today.

The report, Recommendations to the National Roadmap for Electric Mobility Transition, provides recommendations for Cambodia’s on-going efforts to develop a national policy framework to promote electric mobility. It provides views on how to navigate the transition away from a market dominated by imported used gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. It makes recommendations about how to increase both the demand and supply of electric vehicles (EVs), and how to prepare for increased demand for power necessary for EV charging.  

In December 2021, the Royal Government of Cambodia set a goal of becoming a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. The government strategy for decarbonizing transportation includes targets of electrifying 70% of motorcycles and 40% of cars and urban buses by 2050. It also aims for public transportation to carry 30% of passenger transport demand in cities by 2050. As Cambodia continues its economic growth, it is estimated that total motor vehicles in active circulation could increase from the current level of 6 million to pass 8 million by 2030 and 14 million by 2050. Currently, the number of EVs running in Cambodia is less than 1,000.

“Moving towards electric vehicles is an achievable target and will help Cambodia reach its ambitious carbon neutrality goal,” said World Bank Country Manager Maryam Salim.However, it requires a careful assessment of trade-offs. While Cambodians currently benefit from low-priced used vehicles imported from overseas, this comes at a huge environmental cost and will hinder the uptake of EVs. We are committed to helping the government navigate this transition and find feasible ways of moving forward.”

To ensure that vehicles newly entering circulation in Cambodia are predominantly EVs rather than gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles, Cambodia will need to reform vehicle import and usage regulations using a progressive approach. It is also recommended to implement policies requiring the mandatory retirement of gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles when they reach a certain age, which would raise demand for new vehicles and enable electric vehicles to break into the market sooner. In the short-term, the transition to EVs in Cambodia is expected to be driven by motorcycles and tuk-tuks. 

“Promoting electric vehicles presents an opportunity for Cambodia to decarbonize transport, achieve the country’s ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance H.E. Ros Seilava. “This can also help Cambodia integrate with regional and global supply chains, boosting industrial development and job creation.”

The study was supported by the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), a multi-donor trust fund administrated by the World Bank focusing on supporting developing countries on sustainable infrastructure with private sector participation.



Phnom Penh
Saroeun Bou
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