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Model – Electric Vehicles in Nepal, Going Solar Newsletter

Posted in Models by fedwards on August 29th, 2007


By guest author, Suraj Neupane, Going Solar
Reproduced from Transport Newsletter #27,

Electric Vehicles in Nepal
Following items on Took-Tooks in Sri Lanka [#23 & #24], and the wish for electric versions, one of our engineers, Suraj Neupane, prepared this article:
Commercially viable electric three-wheelers were introduced in Nepal in 1996 after the successful operation of seven such vehicles for six months in 1993. Currently, more than 600 electrical threewheelers run on the streets of Kathmandu catering for more than 120,000 commuters each day.

There is a million dollar private investment in this sector and the vehicles are owned by more than 100 entrepreneurs. There are plans to introduce electric four-wheelers as well, and test operations are being conducted on three different fourwheelers. A typical three-wheeler costs around A$12,750 while the costs for four-wheelers which are currently being tested vary from A$20,000 to A$27,300.

The running cost of such vehicles is comparatively low at around 18c per kilometre and these vehicles are capable of running up to 100 km a day. Battery charging stations can be found in different locations in Kathmandu. There are many visible benefits of these electric vehicles (EV) including: zero pollution (no PM10 emission); less GHG emission (as they utilize hydro-power for charging); local value addition (local assembly and fuel i.e. electricity); no petroleum requirement (saving in foreign currency); generation of local employment and health benefits. Another important aspect of the EV industry is that it has been employing many female drivers!

Nepal imports petroleum products from India, but the daily import quota of petroleum products to Nepal was curtailed by India recently creating a huge gap in demand and supply. This has lead to long queues of vehicles requiring petrol at stations in Kathmandu. This in turn has increased the demand for EVs and has provided food for thought to the Nepalese government to further develop this sector. EV entrepreneurs are looking forward to expanding use of these vehicles in schools, offices, tourist services and private uses. They are planning to introduce these vehicles in other major cities of Nepal too. However, lot still needs to be done to develop this sector as EV are not considered as a mainstream transport sector.

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