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Laos launches pilot project for electric vehicle charging sys

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VIENTIANE, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Laos has taken a step towards the development of electric vehicles with the launch of a pilot project of vehicle battery charging stations.

The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines is set to work with the private sector on the project as part of efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and support the government's move to minimize the use of fossil fuels, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

"We are heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels, which always causes a huge deficit annually. Therefore, this pilot project on the use of electric vehicles will be very helpful in decreasing the consumption of fuel," Minister of Energy and Mines, Khammany Inthirath said during an event on Tuesday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project.

"Laos has abundant potential for the use of natural resources such as water, solar power and wind, and waste. These could be used to generate 26,000 MW. So far, about 20 percent of this potential has been developed," he said.

The minister said that in 2016 Laos imported almost 2,000 million liters of fuel, worth more than 1 billion U.S. dollars.

Prior to a workshop on electric vehicles, state-run Electricite du Laos (EDL) signed an MoU with EV Lao Co., Ltd for a feasibility study on charging stations, which will be jointly implemented by the two sectors.

EDL's Managing Director, Boun-oum Syvanpheng, said his firm has been actively studying charging systems for electric vehicles as part of preparations for changing over to clean energy.

President of EV Lao Co., Ltd Bounleuth Luangpraseuth said charging stations could be installed at public and private locations and called for recommendations from the public and private sector for the development and operation of electric vehicles in Laos.

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