Sture Portvik, Project Leader E-mobility for Oslo, the electric car capital of Europe, along with Snorre Sletvold, President of the Norwegian electric vehicle association, presented their arguments for a cleaner Phuket to Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong at Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon.
Present to support their call was Thai Ambassador to Norway Prasittiporn Wetprasit.
The proposal was to look at supporting the use of EVs in Phuket as part of the Phuket Smart City project, starting with a feasibility study on installing the infrastructure needed.
“The government has a policy to promote the use of electric vehicles to reduce pollution, reduce global warming, which is a major problem in many countries around the world,” said Amb Prasittiporn.
“One solution to solve the problem is the use of electric cars, or EVs, and many countries are now beginning to push people to use more electric cars,” he added.
Amb Prasittiporn pointed out that Norway is leading the way as one of the countries with the most electric car users in Europe.
“The venture will be the start of a long-term partnership that will drive tangible results,” he said.
In a report by the Agency for Urban Environment, City of Oslo, Mr Portvik pointed out that installing the charging infrastructure was the launch point for any drive toward EV use.
“To kick-start the adoption of EVs electrical vehicle the City of Oslo has contributed to the proliferation of an adequate charging infrastructure. Today Oslo is Norway’s, and probably the world’s, largest owner of charging infrastructure.
“Seeing is believe. Easily available charging infrastructure made the driving an EV attractive and convenient, but also helped to raise public awareness and increase understanding about EVs,” he wrote.
Mr Portvik also pointed out that the City of Oslo over the past five years had driven the EV push with the following policy initiatives:
• Free public charging infrastructure (normal charging)
• Free parking (saves a lot of money)
• Access to bus lanes (regional/local roads, saves time)
• Grants for private charging infrastructures on private ground
(shopping centres, housing communities etc.)
• Free passing through tool gates (regional/local roads)
• Support for quick charging operators (grants, joint-ventures)
•A zero emission municipality fleet within 2020. So far more than 500 EVs (50 % of the fleet)
•Zero emission public transportation within 2020 (so far 56 %, incl. electric trams, metro, bio gas and hydrogen, buses etc.)
•Green procurement of goods and transport (demanding deliveries by zero emission)
However, Mr Portvik also made plain that to make the EV revolution possible, three critical success factors required were:
• EVs must be cheap to buy (no purchasing tax, no VAT)
• Cheap to use (free parking, free electricity, free passing in tool gates)
• Convenient to use (easy access to charging)
He added, “You also need the right product to succeed.”
Governor Nopparat supported the idea.
“Phuket is ready to push forward with this project. Phuket will launch this as a pilot project in accordance with the Smart City policy,” Gov Norraphat said.
“Smart Environment and Green City are both set in the provincial development plan and to promote the use of electric vehicles, or Evs, is consistent with this – and may even start with public service vehicles,” he added.
“It is government policy to encourage the use of electric cars to reduce pollution in response to global changes in the future,” Gov Norraphat said.