March 3: The import of electric vehicles into the country has declined by half in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2021/21 due to heavy taxes levied on them. On the other hand, the import of vehicles that run on diesel/petrol has increased by 60 percent.
In the review period, a total of 2051 electric vehicles have been imported. Of the imported electric vehicles, 103 are electric jeep, car, van and the remaining are three wheelers (auto-rikshaw). In the corresponding period of last fiscal year, 4204 electric vehicles were imported into Nepal. This number includes all kinds of electric vehicles.
According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), more than 600 electric jeeps, cars and vans were imported in the first six months of the last fiscal year. Sunil Rijal, general secretary of NADA, said the import ratio has gone down due to a hike in electric vehicles taxes. The government hiked the customs duty levied on electric vehicles from 10 percent to 30 percent in the latest budget. However, later it was decided to provide waiver on excise duty and other taxes. Still, the electric vehicles are subjected to 40 percent tax which has plunged its market demand, said Rijal.
Although the import of electric vehicles has declined, the import of gasoline-powered automobiles has gone up. In the review period, the import of jeeps, motorbikes and trucks has increased.
Traders say that lengthy banking procedures on auto loan is another reason for decline in import of electric vehicles. Sundar Yatayat had launched four electric buses two years ago and was planning to operate another 25 electric buses. Bhesh Bahadur Thapa, president of Sundar Yatayat, said the difficulty in acquiring loan for electric vehicles has stalled the process. After a long hassle, banking institutions have agreed to finance electric vehicles on Tuesday, he said.
Krishna Prasad Dulal, president of NADA, said the hike in import of gasoline-powered vehicles is for a limited period only. The increase is attributed to easy financing service provided by banks and resumption of the market after a long gap of ten months.