Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) and EV Lao Company have teamed up to launch a smart card system for the payment of charging costs for electric vehicles.
The proposed smart card would link BCEL’s smart card system and EV Lao’s EVBox charging system, Vientiane Times reported.
BCEL began offering fee and bill payment services in 2009. Its services enable making payments electronically, through ATMs, BCEL One, I-Bank and other services provided by the bank.
BCEL is currently working with more than 50 entities to facilitate payments for goods and services as well as utility bills, taxes, customs duty, cable rental, fuel, loans, and border passes used to cross the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in Vientiane.
Laos is currently pushing for a new electric vehicle project, joining its neighbors in Southeast Asia where the growth of the EV market is set to boom.
EV Lao teamed up with Electricite du Laos (EDL) for the project in August, which is designed to compare operating costs between electric vehicles and those running on fossil fuels, as well as safety measures, and to ascertain the quality of the vehicles.
The collaborators are to install test charging stations at EDL, EV Lao headquarters, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines. They hope to install 20 stations in Vientiane this year with a view to begin imports of electric vehicles next year.
Laos imports a large volume of fuel annually which has caused a huge trade deficit over the years, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Vientiane Times noted.
For instance, imports of gasoline increased from 187,755 kilograms in 2010 to 234,199 kilograms in 2015, according to Lao PDR Energy Statistics 2018 by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.
During the same period, the consumption of gasoline also jumped from 187,755 kilograms 223,318 kilograms.
“Laos is promoting the use of clean energy in the transport sector as part of measures to translate the government’s policy into an action plan until 2025, and a strategy for 2030,” the paper said. “The proposed project on the use of EVs will help to lower fuel consumption.”