Expansion of Charging Stations is the Key Challenge to Promote EVs

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Expansion of Charging Stations is the Key Challenge to Promote EVs

April 10: Stakeholders on Tuesday inaugurated 23 electric vehicle charging stations established with the support from the US government. This has added the list of charging stations, which are considered important to increase the consumption of electric vehicles in the country to reduce reliance on fossil fuel.

Urja Nepal stated that Yatri Design Studio and E-Stop Pvt Ltd have installed these charging stations in different parts of Bagmati Province with the support of Urja Nepal Project run under USAID.

One of the 23 charging stations is a mobile charging station. This is the first time a mobile charging station has been launched in Nepal. It will provide charging service if needed in places where there is no charging station.

Sagar Gyawali of Nepal Electricity Authority said that the number of charging stations in the country has exceeded 400. With the increase in the demand for electric vehicles, the private sector has stepped forward to build charging stations. According to Gyawali, 350 charging stations have been commissioned from the private sector. The authority has set up 51 charging stations.

Stakeholders say that even though the number of charging stations is increasing, the current speed is not enough to achieve the target set by the country.

Navinraj Singh, spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, said that the main challenge in the expansion of electric vehicles in Nepal is the lack of adequate charging stations.

Although charging stations are necessary everywhere, they are not available at all the places. The number of charging stations is still not enough as one charging station has the capacity to charge only 10 to 12 electric vehicles per day, he said. According to Singh, electric microbuses are now running on the Sunkoshi Bardibas road section. However, they are facing problems due to lack of charging stations.

“Electric vehicles currently being imported into Nepal have the ability to travel only 200 to 300 kilometers with a single charge of full capacity. In the days to come, it is necessary to import vehicles with the ability to run up to 500 kilometers,” he said. According to stakeholders, as clean energy production is increasing in Nepal, there is ample opportunity to make the country self-reliant on green energy and expand the use of electric vehicles.

According to the Ministry of Energy, an action plan is being prepared with the goal of producing 28,500 megawatts of electricity by 2035. They are of the opinion that since the current electricity consumption in the country is less than 2000 megawatts, the electricity produced in the country can be widely used through the widespread use of electric vehicles. Nepal has set a goal of increasing the sale of electric vehicles to 90 percent within the year 2030. With the increase in the availability of electricity, the use of electric vehicles seems to be increasing in Nepal. According to the Department of Customs, the country imported 6,435 four-wheeler EVs in the first eight months of the current fiscal year.

Last year, 4050 electric vehicles were imported into the country. In the year 2078/79, a total of 1,807 electric four-wheeler EVs were imported.

Yamuna Shrestha, a member of the electric vehicle committee of NADA Automobiles Dealers Association of Nepal, said that because the operating costs of electric vehicles are cheaper compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, the attraction of common people is increasing towards this segment recently.

"However, there is a lack of detailed study on the development and expansion of electric vehicles and how many charging stations are needed," Shrestha said.

Currently, Nepal spends the most foreign currency on importing petroleum products.

"Widespread use of electric vehicles will not only reduce Nepal's trade deficit, but also increase domestic consumption of electricity, which is in line with the government's goals," said Karen Welch, Acting Mission Chief of USAID, during the inauguration of the charging stations.



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