There are 19 electric vehicles (EVs) registered in Brunei Darussalam and the owners primarily use their own home charging units to power their vehicle.
Since the launch of EV Pilot Project on March 25 last year, a number of key policies and support programmes were planned with some already implemented.
This was shared by Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Transport) at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohd Salihin bin Haji Aspar as Co-Chairman of the Electric Vehicle Joint Task Force (EVJTF) during a EV Dialogue yesterday.
He said a mid-term review of the pilot project was conducted earlier this year to identify strategic areas requiring attention and evaluation.
The identified areas are adequate charging infrastructure – from home charging to a network of rapid charging stations; impact on national power grid; associated life-cycle costs; and consumer behaviour, he added.
The dialogue at the Pro-Chancellor Arts Centre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) was co-chaired by the MTIC, Department of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office and Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd (BSM).
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha was the guest of honour.
Acting Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Paduka Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid; Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Department of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Co-Chairman of EVJTF and Co-Organiser of EV Dialogue Mohammad Nizam bin Haji Ismi; BSM Managing Director Muhammad Norshafiee bin Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil as co-organiser of the EV Dialogue; and Permanent Secretary at the MTIC Ir Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof were also present.
The event saw virtual keynotes by Associate Economic Affairs Officer from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) Fadiah Achmadi; UNESCAP Consultant Gautam Patel; and Lieutenant Colonel Dr Kaewchalermtong of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Thailand.
They highlighted that there is a global shift towards EV with many car manufacturers announcing they plan to go all-electric as early as 2030.
Fadiah shared that the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change Call to Action has set the tone for this shift with EV global sales spiking in 2021.
Patel said with increasing investment into EV technology, battery technologies are seeing improvements that points to EV becoming lighter and more efficient.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr Kaewchalermtong said Thailand is looking to electrify its public transport fleet and the government’s vehicles.
The event also saw a dialogue session with panellists – Geologist at the Energy Transition Division of the Department of Energy at the PMO Rasyiqah Azimah binti Muhammad Nuraiziz representing EVJTF; Hyundai Sales Manager and Non-Tech Trainer at Setia Motors Sdn Bhd Mohd Fadhillah bin Sulaiman representing Brunei Automobile Traders Association (BATA); Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Brunei Haji Shahrildin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Utama Dato Paduka Haji Jaya as Chairman of the Brunei Insurance and Takaful Association (BITA); and EV Business Developer at BSM Pengiran Zainul Asri bin Pengiran Abdul Razak. It was moderated by the Head of the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) Ahmad Zaiemaddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi.
Discussions included EVJTF’s plans; steps that BATA are taking to increase deployment of EV; motor Takaful or insurance coverage for EVs; and what BSM offers to promote EV’s adoption.
The EV Dialogue highlighted the Sultanate’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by adopting EVs while recognising that EV prices and limited choice are challenges to overcome.
Nevertheless, the move towards EV is inevitable and Brunei has to be ready for it.