December 7: A total of 5,770 electric vehicles (EVs) were registered in Nepal in the last 4 months.
The use of EVs was expected to rise after the government imposed a ban on high-end vehicles that run on diesel and petrol. However, the data suggests that the use of electric vehicles has not increased as expected.
The registration of electric vehicles is not much encouraging due to the absence of legal system to deal with EVs and a strategy to encourage the use of such vehicles.
According to the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), 20,693 new EVs were registered in the last fiscal year.
The government had set a target of increasing the use of EVs to 20 percent by the year 2020 under the Environment Friendly Vehicles and Transport Policy 2071 and the National Action Plan for Electric Mobility 2075. However, even after two years since that deadline, the use of EVs is far less than the target.
Ishwari Datta Paneru, information officer of DoTM says that the target could not be achieved due to the difficulty in managing old vehicles and the lack of a new vehicle law.
“We are still operating according to the Vehicle and Transport Management Act 2049, some of the provisions of which are not up-to-date,” he said.
Stakeholders say that the lack of sufficient charging stations is also causing problems for the use of electric vehicles.
Nepal Electricity Authority spokesperson Suresh Bahadur Bhattarai informed that the work of making charging stations in 52 places across the country has reached its final stage. Spokesperson Bhattarai claims that apart from the authority, the private sector is also building charging stations at various places, so there will be no problem in the future.
Businessmen say that the demand for electric vehicles is high, which increased after the government introduced a policy of subsidizing electric vehicles. Dhruva Thapa, president of NADA Automobiles Association of Nepal, the umbrella organization of automobile dealers, said that the government's policy on electric vehicles is positive. Although the customs exemption facility given by the government on electric vehicles is giving positive results, it is very less compared to other countries.