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Thursday, 8 September 2022 – Driving Towards A Greener Nation: EV Dialogue

The Electric Vehicle Joint Task Force (EVJTF) co-chaired by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications and the Department of Energy, Prime Minister's Office together with the Brunei Shell Marketing (BSM) Company Sendirian Berhad today organised the "Driving Towards A Greener Nation" EV Dialogue held at the Performance Theatre, Pro Chancellor Art Centre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Attending the Dialogue as the Guest of Honour was Yang Berhormat Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Shamhary bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications. The Dialogue was also attended by Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Khairuddin Bin Haji Abdul Hamid, Acting Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Acting Minister of Finance and Economy II, Yang Mulia Awang Mohammad Nizam bin Haji Ismi, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy), Prime Minister's Office, Co-Chairman of the EVJTF as well as Co-Organiser of the EV Dialogue, Yang Mulia Muhammad Norshafiee bin Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil, Managing Director of Brunei Shell Marketing (BSM) Company Sdn Bhd as Co-Organiser of the EV Dialogue and Yang Mulia Awang Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications.

With the objective of sharing information on the latest development and learnings on electric vehicles globally and its acceptance in Brunei Darussalam since the launch of the pilot programme in March 2021, the EV Dialogue was also attended by senior officers and representatives from various government agencies, authorities, the private sector, transport companies, logistics providers, banks and insurance associations, as well as students from higher institutions. The Dialogue was simultaneously broadcasted live virtually for the general public to also participate.

In his Welcoming Remarks, Yang Mulia Awang Haji Mohd Salihin bin Haji Aspar, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Transport), Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications as the Co-Chairman of the Electric Vehicle Joint Task Force (EVJTF) shared that since the launch of the EV Pilot Project on 25th March 2021, a number of key policies and support programmes have been planned with some already implemented. To date, a total of 19 EVs have been registered in the country. EV owners primarily use their own home charging units to charge their vehicles. Yang Mulia Awang Haji Mohd Salihin bin Haji Aspar added that a Mid-Term Review of the Pilot Project was conducted earlier this year which has helped to identify strategic areas that require further attention and evaluation. These strategic areas include the setting up of adequate charging infrastructure ranging from home charging which, for most users in Brunei is adequate, to a network of rapid charges, the impact on the power grid load, associated life-cycle costs and consumer behaviour.

The EV Dialogue started its session with virtual keynote presentations by three (3) international Speakers. Ms Fadiah Achmadi, the Associate Economic Affairs Officer from the United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) shared the global perspective on EV policies, challenges and outlook. Mr Gautam Patel, UNESCAP Consultant shared the global development in EV technology and Lt. Col. Dr Tongkarn Kaewchalermtong of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Thailand shared the EV experience in Thailand.

From the presentations made by the international speakers, it was clear that there is a global and transport industry shift towards Electric Vehicles with many car manufacturers announcing their plans to go all electric as early as 2030. Ms Fadiah shared that the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change Call to Action had set the tone for this shift. It was recognized that with the increase in global travel demand there would be a corresponding increase in carbon emissions, if not abated. Undeniably EV is not the only answer, but is one of the fastest growing with EV global sales spiking in 2021. The second speaker, Mr. Patel, spoke on the global developments in EV technology. With EV market shares growing we have also witnessed more investments made into the technology. Battery technologies are seeing improvements and longer-term trend points towards lighter and efficient vehicles. He also shared that globally home and workplace charging remains viable to meet the bulk of the demand and the power load do not pose significant challenges to grids upto 2030. The third speaker, Dr. Kaewchalermtong, shared the Thai experience on EV adoption and how the challenges were mitigated, among others, through infrastructure investments, incentives, subsidies and fees. One of the key focusses for Thailand was also on electrifying their public transport fleet as well as the Government's fleet.  

The event continued with a dialogue session consisting of local industry experts from different sectors. The panel included Yang Mulia Dyg Rasyiqah Azimah Binti Muhammad Nuraiziz, Geologist at the Energy Transition Division, Department of Energy, Prime Minister's Office representing the Electric Vehicle Joint Task Force (EVJTF), Yang Mulia Mohd Fadhillah bin Awg Sulaiman, Sales Manager and Non-Technical Trainer, Hyundai, Setia Motors Sdn Bhd representing the Brunei Automobile Traders Association (PPAB), Yang Mulia Haji Shahrildin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Utama Dato Paduka Haji Jaya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Syarikat Takaful Brunei Darussalam Sdn Bhd as Chairman of Brunei Insurance Takaful Association (BITA) and Yang Mulia Pg Zainul Asri Pg Abd Razak, EV Business Developer, Brunei Shell Marketing (BSM) Company Sendirian Berhad. The dialogue session was moderated by Yang Mulia Ahmad Zaiemaddien bin Pehin Dato Haji Halbi, Head of the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS).

The key take-aways from the Dialogue highlighted Brunei Darussalam's continued commitment on reducing carbon emissions of which EV adoption is one of the strategies. It was recognized that vehicle price and limited choice is a current challenge where small EV models for mass-market consumers are still unaffordable. Nonetheless, with the inevitable trend towards EV globally the country needs to ready itself. A pragmatic and consolidated approach need to be sustained taking into account policy support from related government agencies and NGOs, the private sector through the car dealers and also buy-ins from the public as well as raising their awareness on environmental issues as global citizens.

Attendees also had the opportunity to view and test drive the different models of the electric vehicles available in Brunei Darussalam at the event.



Prepared by:

Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications

Brunei Darussalam