Electric Vehicles Consume Six Million Units of Electricity Monthly

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Electric Vehicles Consume Six Million Units of Electricity Monthly

April 22: As electric vehicles (EVs) surge in popularity in the country, their electricity consumption has also risen. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) reports that electric vehicles are currently consuming 6 million units of electricity per month through public charging stations.

Sagar Gyawali, assistant manager of NEA and head of the charging station project, stated that EVs in Nepal are consuming 6 million units of electricity per month. He also mentioned that the current electricity consumption from charging stations is negligible compared to the total electricity consumption of the country. According to NEA, Nepal consumed 9,358 gigawatt hours of electricity in the last fiscal year 2022/23.

Presently, NEA has 51 operational charging stations. "We are currently constructing 40 additional hub charging stations across Nepal," Gyawali stated. NEA had initially aimed to install 500 charging stations within this fiscal year.

In addition to NEA's efforts, the private sector is also rapidly expanding charging stations across the country, with 350 already in operation. However, stakeholders have expressed concerns about the slow pace of expansion compared to Nepal's targets for increasing electric vehicle usage and further expanding infrastructure.

 Nepal has set ambitious targets, aiming for electric two-wheelers to constitute 90 percent and private four-wheelers 60 percent of vehicle usage by 2030.

There has been a notable surge in the import of EVs in the current fiscal year. According to the latest data from the Department of Customs, Nepal imported 21,418 units of EVs, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers, in the first nine months of FY 2023/24. This marks a significant increase from the 14,394 units imported during the same period of FY 2022/23.

According to the latest foreign trade statistics from the department, Nepal imported 7,093 units of electric four-wheelers in the first nine months of FY 2023/24, a significant increase from the 2,451 units imported during the same period of FY 2022/23. Additionally, the imports of electric vehicles for public transport, including buses and microvans, have also seen growth in this fiscal year.

Electric vehicles, initially predominant in private use, have recently gained significant traction in the realm of public transport. Notably, Sajha Yatayat Cooperative leads the charge, having deployed the largest fleet of electric buses. Presently, Sajha operates 40 electric buses, marking a substantial contribution to sustainable urban mobility.

Janak Risal, Mechanical Engineer at Sajha Yatayat, stated that each electric bus consumes approximately 100 units of electricity per day. Based on this, the electric buses of Sajha collectively consume 4,000 units of electricity daily. Risal explained, "Previously, even with the availability of electric buses, only 10 to 15 buses could run sporadically due to limited charging infrastructure. However, with the installation of a charging station at Sajha's central office in Pulchok, Lalitpur, almost all buses now operate efficiently."

Sajha has initiated operations of 11 charging stations at its central office in Pulchok since April 9th. Each charger at the station boasts a capacity of 98 kilowatt hours, supported by the installation of 4 transformers of 1000 (1.1 MW) for power supply. Risal disclosed that such stations can concurrently charge 22 buses, significantly enhancing operational efficiency.

Risal emphasized that with the increasing import and use of electric vehicles, there will inevitably be a surge in electricity consumption. He suggested that NEA should establish standards for increasing the ampere capacity in household infrastructure to accommodate this growing demand.

Kavita Pokharel Kadel, Secretary of the Independent Power Producers Association, Nepal (IPPAN), emphasized that the adoption of electric vehicles will lead to an increase in electricity consumption while simultaneously reducing the need for petrol and diesel imports, thus retaining funds within the country. She highlighted the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and stressed the necessity of investing in infrastructure to support their widespread use. Pokharel further noted, "With the current state of electric vehicle technology, there are no issues driving them in urban areas, and charging at home can sustain the vehicle throughout the day."


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