An exciting array of electric vehicles are waiting to make their bow at the upcoming edition of the auto expo.
Of late, it has become common to see growing number of electronic vehicles (EVs) plying on the roads of Kathmandu and some major cities across Nepal. The prospects of zero-emission vehicles have brightened in the recent years with the skepticism towards EVs, which used to prevail among passenger vehicle buyers until 4-5 years ago, is rapidly going away with more established automobile brands rolling out new models of electric cars and SUVs in the market. It is true that Nepali auto buyers are yet to accept the importance of EVs wholeheartedly, and that it will take time for such vehicles to become mainstream products in the domestic auto market. Nevertheless, the increasing demand bodes well for the future of the Nepali EV market which is now in a transitional phase. With technological advancements in automobile, rising awareness among people and appropriate government support, EVs are poised to become horses of a long market race.
The 14th edition NADA Auto Show 2019, organised by Nepal Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has become a perfect platform to exhibit new models of EVs. As was the case in NADA Auto Show 2018, EVs are among the centers of attraction in the six-day expo that started from 27 August to conclude on September 1.
Laxmi InterContinental, the authorised distributor of Hyundai four-wheelers in Nepal, is planning to showcase its popular compact SUV- KONA at NADA 2019. KONA comes with two battery options- 64kWh or 39.2kWh. While the 64kWh can cover 482 km on a full charge, the 39.2kWh variant can cover 312 km. KONA has been in high demand since it debuted this January in Nepal. 80 units of KONA were already sold before the auto show.
Awashis Ojha, head of marketing and communication at Laxmi InterContinental said, “We are planning to be number one in the compact SUV segment in Nepal.” Till date, the company has installed 30 charging stations (eight inside the valley) in different places and hotels such as Marriott Hotel, Labim Mall, Bahari Hotel, among others. KONA is available for Rs 55,966,716 in the market.
The company is announcing the ‘Hyundai Festive Delight’ festive offer from 19th August targeting to the series of different upcoming occasions such as Dashain, Tihar and Chhat. The promotion will be valid until October. Hyundai’s Ioniq attracted quite a few eyeballs during NADA 2018; the company is hopeful of repeating the feat this year with the KONA.
The Kia e-Niro, a futuristic EV, will be showcased at the auto expo. Since debuting in Nepal on 19th July, Niro has already recorded 100 units of delivery.
Kia’s authorised distributor, Continental Associates delivered 50 units of the e-Niro within a week of its arrival.
“We brought Korean manufactured Kia Niro after five months of its high demand in the market,” said Anish Lamichhane, assistant general manager at Continental Associates.
Continental has installed direct current (DC) charging station in Bardiwas and also upgraded the charging station at Kurintar with a DC charger. “Kia Motors is the only automobile brand in Nepal having its own DC fast charging station in the country,” claims Lamichhane adding, “We need DC fast charger in charging station instead of alternating current (AC) charging because nobody waits for six to eight hours for charging while travelling. DC charges the vehicles quickly, in around an hour.”
MG ZS EV
MG Motors is also emerging as one of the top competitors in the Nepali EV market with the launch of its subcompact crossover SUV, MG ZS EV. This electric model of the ZS, showcased by MG’s authorised distributor in Nepal, Paramount Motors, is expected to attract a flock of customers at the NADA Auto Show.
Currently, two variants of ZS EV including SUV and compact are available in the country. The company is showcasing one of them at the expo.
According to Smit Timilsina, senior marketing manager at MG Motors, ZS EV received booking of 65 units within ten days of its arrival in Nepal.
“We had 70 units of EVs from China, and now we have only five units of EVs left,” said Timilsina adding, “We are also providing a complimentary 7 kW AC charger to our customers.”
The EV, priced at Rs 49,99,000, will be delivered to customers from September in Nepal. The EV is available in three vibrant colours - Blue, Red and White.
Peugeot Partner Tepee Electric
Peugeot Partner Tepee Electric, a French manufactured electric four-wheeler is yet another exciting EV. This leisure activity vehicle will be showcased in the upcoming NADA Auto Show by its authorised dealer in Nepal, Shangrila Motors Pvt Ltd.
The newly introduced Partner Tepee has a look unlike that of other electric four-wheelers in Nepal. The Partner Tepee’s unique features, such as two sliding doors and tailgates at the back.
Rakesh Shrestha, assistant manager at Shangrila Motors informed, “It is perfect for travel agencies, hotels and banks can use it to transfer cash. Similarly, it can be used by airlines to carry pilots.” The EV is priced at Rs 60,00,000. At present, Shangrila has a DC fast charging station at its service centre in Kathmandu and has three dealership network outside the country, namely in Pokhara, Narayanghat, and Birgunj.
Another newly introduced Chinese EV brand, Dahe, also has an excellent prospect to grab the attention of customers visiting the upcoming NADA Auto Show. Three four-wheelers, including Thee-go Dahe EM3 and Thee-go Dahe E8, will be showcased at the expo by its authorised distributor in Nepal, Future Green Energy Pvt Ltd under Thee-go Group.
The high-speed variant of Thee-go Dahe EM3 is capable of regenerating power while rolling on the road. Likewise, Thee-go Dahe E8’s low-speed variant has a motor capacity of 14.6 kWh. It requires four to five hours for a complete charge from an AC charger which gives it a range of 180 km on the streets of Kathmandu. With a motive to encourage EVs in order to reduce pollution, the company is offering a conversion service to turn fuel vehicles into electric ones. For this, it will make available Thee-go e-cards at NADA Auto Show.
Thee-go Group, which began sales of EVs from May 2019 has been distributing EVs like Dahe 350, Dahe 350 L and Lifan C3 through its 17-dealer network including four inside the valley and 13 outside the valley. Thee-go E8 is available from Rs 14,90,000 to Rs 19,00,000 while the EM3 will cost below Rs 30,00,000. The company is also planning to bring electric DFSK van and Zhongtong bus from China.
Cimex Inc, the authorised distributor of BYD electric four-wheeler, is preparing to launch its light commercial vehicle, the BYD M3, in the 19th edition of the Auto Show. The company, which has been delivering BYD e6 since 2017 is participating in the Auto Show for the first time to unveil its new crossover SUV.
The BYD M3 comes with two variants, one with a seating capacity of seven, and the other with five. Its 50.3 kWh Lithium iron phosphate battery can be charged by a DC fast charger within 1.5 hours and can travel 280 km at full charge. The company offers ten-year warranty terms and even provides a replacement warranty for five years. The M3 is available at Rs 52,00,000.
The company has installed 15 charging stations including 12 in the valley and three outside the valley. “We received 50 units of booking before its launch. We have 15 normal charging station with AC charging altogether,” said Sameer Shrestha, project and marketing manager at Cimex Inc.