The National Planning Commission (NPC) has become the first government agency in Nepal to purchase an electric vehicle (EV). It is part of a bid to replace the diesel and petrol powered cars currently used by government agencies.
The long-range driving e6 BYD model car, manufactured by BYD Auto (Build Your Dreams)—the largest Chinese EVs manufacturer—was purchased at the cost of Rs6 million.
The e6 comes in two variants: 400km and 300km driving range. Pricing is at Rs6 million and Rs5 million respectively.The e6 BYD is different from the host of EVs already in the hands of the government, as it was purchased. The other EVs had been donated to the government.
“The e6 BYD is procured by the government itself,” said Swarnim Wagle, vice chairman of NPC. The e6 is marketed as a family-oriented crossover vehicle with its 5-passenger seating capacity. The NPC has also installed a charging station at its premises.
According to the manufacturer, the “zero emission” renewable-energy vehicle can save 14,120 litres of fuel per year, with 32 tonnes fewer CO2 emissions. “The government’s move to buy EV is mainly focused at reducing air pollution by reducing the use of fossil fuel-based vehicles,” said Wagle, adding that the environmentally friendly vehicles can be promoted in Kathmandu.
Wagle said that promoting EVs can significantly reduce Nepal’s dependency on fossil fuels. Its range is good for longer rides: up to 400 kilometres on one charge, according to the company’s specification. Its speed is limited to 140 kilometres per hour. The battery has a total capacity of 80 kilowatt hours.
In winter, the effective range is reduced by about 50 kilometres as a result of the electricity consumption of using the car’s interior heating feature.
A full charge requires two hours. BYD claims that the vehicle’s battery can be recharged over 2000 times with a certified lifespan of 20 years. The general public can expect to buy the e6 in January 2018.
Electric vehicles brought for public transportation have been granted a 100 percent excise duty waiver, while the customs duty has been brought down to 1 percent from 15 percent as part of the government’s effort to promote green vehicles and cut pollution. Moreover, importers of electric vehicles brought for private purposes will also get a 100 percent waiver on excise duty and the import duty on such vehicles has been lowered to 10 percent from 40 percent but EVs have not been promoted and used effectively.
Traders said that the government policy might not yield the expected results because there is no provision of tax rebate for batteries.The government incentives have been driven by concerns focusing on energy and environmental issues, especially the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposal, registered by Nepali Congress leader and former minister and parliamentarian Gagan Thapa, aims to impose a ban on sale of fossil fuel-run vehicles in the Valley by 2027, followed by countrywide ban by 2031.
The country has already endorsed the Environment-friendly Vehicle and Transport Policy (2014) that aims to reduce green house gases emission from the transport sector and increase the share of electric vehicles up to 20 per cent by 2020.
Recently, the Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned power utility, had installed EVs charging station at its central office in Ratna Park.
It plans to install such stations in different parts of the Capital to facilitate promotion of electric vehicles.