Climate Technology Centre & Network Progress Report 2020

Technology in action

Cambodia explores e-mobility technologies and financing

Back to e-mobility
Cambodia’s reliance on road transport has increased alongside its economic development. The country mainly relies on second-hand fossil fuel vehicles that are imported with no age limits or emission standards. Given the rise in the number of vehicles on the road and their fuel composition, Cambodia has increasing concerns about emissions and air quality degradation in urban areas.

Indeed, the transport sector is expected to account for an increasingly large share of greenhouse gas emissions in Cambodia. The country produced a total of 9.3 million tonnes of Co2 in 2016, of which the transport sector was responsible for 5 million tonnes overall, with road transport comprising 4.2 million tonnes.

Cambodia’s CO2 emissions from fuel combustion


The country has identified several barriers impeding a successful transition to a low-emission pathway, including a lack of up-to-date transport information, and policy, planning, institutional capacity, investment, market, and technical barriers. Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment requested CTCN support to address these barriers.

The objective of this technical assistance was 1) to provide Cambodia with an action plan for low-emission vehicle policy options, and 2) to assist the Ministry in accessing global funds to promote sustainable and low-emissions transport. The assistance was designed by the UN Environment Programme and implemented by Envelops through the pro bono support of the Republic of Korea.

A baseline assessment was undertaken for Cambodia’s road transport sector through an intensive consultation process to identify policy, technology, and financing options for deploying low emission transport interventions tailored to national circumstances. Based upon these inputs and additional research, a proposed policy action plan was developed which identified two pathways for implementation: 1) diffusion of e-bikes, and 2) diffusion of e-buses and e-cars. A stakeholder consultation workshop was then conducted to discuss and refine the plan.

Next, a draft GCF concept note was developed to seek support for the promotion and diffusion of e-bikes with charging infrastructure, which included the development of loan and incentive programs. The concept is currently under review with the GCF Accredited Entity. It is anticipated that the diffusion of more than 25,000 e-bikes in various Cambodian cities will lead to GHG emissions reductions of approximately 64,000 tons of CO2e over the course of the cycles’ lifespan (estimated to be 3-5 years).

“The transport sector represents close to half of final energy consumption in Cambodia, drawing almost entirely from imported petroleum products. That makes transport the highest emitting energy sector. In view of the rapid urbanization and economic growth, the number of vehicles has been growing between 10 and 15% per year. Promoting the switch to electric vehicles is essential to avoid air pollution, limit GHG emissions, and ensure a sustainable development of our urban centers.”

— Mr. Hak Mao Director of the Department of Science and Technology Ministry of Environment of Cambodia CTCN National Designated Entity

The technical assistance will ultimately contribute to GHG emissions reductions from the road transport sector and improved energy security through a decreased reliance on imported fossil fuels. Moreover, an action plan for clean and efficient mobility will contribute to urban resilience for vulnerable populations through improved health and well-being resulting from reduced air pollution and the widespread adoption of clean and efficient vehicle technologies.