VIENTIANE, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Lao commercial bank Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) and the EV Lao Co., Ltd. are partnering in the production of a smart card for the payment of charging costs for electric vehicles.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the project was signed in Lao capital Vientiane last week by the General Managing Director of BCEL Phoukhong Chanthachack and the President of EV Lao Co., Ltd. Bounleuth Luangpraseuth in the presence of BCEL and company staff, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.
BCEL began offering fee and bill payment services in 2009 and now partners with more than 50 entities to facilitate payments for goods and services by the general public. Among these are the payment of utility bills, taxes, customs duty, cable rental, fuel, loans, and border passes used to cross the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in capital Vientiane.
The system enables payments through ATMs, BCEL One, I-Bank and other bank services and involves the largest number of users making payments electronically throughout the country, Phoukhong said.
He hoped this partnership would lead to the creation of more such facilities for the bank's customers and increase the number of service users.
The proposed smart card for the payment of charging costs for electric vehicles would link BCEL's smart card system and EV Lao Co., Ltd.'s EVBox charging system. In addition, EV Lao Co., Ltd. and State-run energy Electricite du Laos (EDL) are partnering in a pilot project that will see the installation of 20 charging stations for electric vehicles in capital Vientiane, Bounleuth said.
The project also plans to install 100 electric vehicle chargers in capital Vientiane and along arterial roads around the country, which would all link to the Even system that EV Lao Co., Ltd. is installing at EDL to ensure vehicle safety.
This partnership is viewed as a social and environmental contribution on the part of BCEL and EV Lao Co., Ltd.
The pilot project being set up by EDL and the EV Lao Co., Ltd. is part of efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles in Laos and support Lao government's move to minimize the use of fossil fuels. Laos imports a large volume of fuel annually which has caused a huge trade deficit over the years, according to Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines.
The proposed pilot project on the use of electric vehicles will help to lower fuel consumption. 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 to a strategy for 2030.