Bridging policy and adoption of e-mobility in Cambodia

Phnom Penh 4 November 2022, The GGGI Cambodia team participated in a consultative workshop organized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and presented the key results from policy review and the proposed options for improvement on (1) electric motorbikes (EMs) registration, (2) charging and swapping space at public buildings, and (3) battery waste management. The results from the workshop will contribute to the Government’s efforts for sustainable transport sector development through the promotion of electric motorbikes adoption in Cambodia”. Today’s workshop showcases the partnership between GGGI and MPWT in advancing green mobility transition in Cambodia.

The lack of large-scale public transportation makes motorcycles an attractive choice of mobility, and the country is home to at least four million motorcycles, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (2018). Though only a small fraction is electric motorcycles, over the last few years, the Royal Government of Cambodia has prioritized its transport sector to go sustainable by reducing the dependence on fuel-run vehicles to electric vehicles.

Since 2020, GGGI has been helping Cambodia in its readiness preparation to move toward green mobility, and in today’s workshop, participants who came from various departments under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Cambodia Climate Change Alliance were provided with a policy gap analysis by Ms. Shomi Kim, GGGI Country Representative and Mr. Khan Chantharo, an officer in charge of the electric motorcycle program in Cambodia.

The policy gap analysis touched on three components: electric motorbikes registration, electric motorbike battery charging and swapping space and electric motorcycles battery waste management. In each component, the workshop discussed policy review and assessment, policy options, and technical specification consideration.

Mr. Khan Chantharo, an officer in charge of the electric motorcycle program, said, “Increasing formal registration for EMs would allow MPWT to track the number of EMs on the roads in a database, which could also prove to be a useful resource for the effective development and implementation of relevant policies and strategies that could encourage the adoptions of EMs, financial mobilization for supporting infrastructure, as well as facilitate insurance and resale”.

Though the percentage of electric motorcycle adoption is low, the number is expected to increase. When the percentage is bigger, so is the battery waste produced by retired electric motorcycles. According to the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN), 70% of motorcycles are expected to be electric by 2050.

Ms. Shomi Kim, GGGI Country Representative, said, “If not properly addressed, the social, economic and environmental cost of exposed electric motorcycle waste will be higher.” She continued, “Setting up a clear battery waste value chain – waste collection, transportation, and treatment through enforcement of regulations such as extended producer responsibility (EPR), partnering with other countries on e-battery waste recycling facilities are recommended for sustainable management of e-battery waste.”