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Furthermore, NEA has provided electricity at a low cost specifically for EV charging stations. The cost for charging EVs at peak time is around Rs8/hour and in off peak times, the cost is as low as approximately Rs 4/hr.
Private companies like BYD, Hyundai, TheeGo, Sipradi and others have also set up charging points for their customers. However, the issue here is that these charging stations do not have standardised appliance outlets and only serve their specific vehicles.
Ram Chandra Paudel of the Department of Transport Management says, “The government needs to work with the private sector for charging infrastructure that will be compatible at multiple places with multiple types of vehicles.”
The need for infrastructure development for the EVs is not limited to charging stations only. Electricity transmission lines and infrastructure also needs to be able to withstand the increased load that is inevitably going to accompany widespread vehicle charging.
Current data shows that the market for EVs in the sphere of private four-wheelers has already taken off. However, in order to ensure that the future of transportation in Nepal is electric, the focus now needs to shift towards public transport and two-wheelers.
Two-wheelers make up more than 79% of registered vehicles in Nepal. However, less than 1% of two-wheelers on the streets of Nepal are electric, whereas, worldwide, 42% of two-wheelers sold in 2021 were electric. The supply of electric two-wheelers is there.
At the Expo itself, 16 of the stalls were occupied by two-wheeler companies while only 9 four-wheeler brands were present. But in order to generate demand, consumer confidence and trust needs to be built through awareness campaigns and infrastructure to support electric two-wheelers.
The most important (and largely missing) piece of the puzzle is electrifying Nepal’s public transport network. This is where the biggest gains can be made both in terms of reducing air pollution (and therefore improving public health) and cutting fossil fuel consumption that has sent Nepal’s import bill sky high this year.