The $3.7 million deal with China’s CHTC company also includes the supply of 20 chargers of 90kW each, which can top up the batteries in two buses simultaneously in four hours.
“This is the future for transportation energy in Nepal,” says Sajha Yatayat board member and clean energy activist Bhusan Tuladhar. “We have to transition to electric public transport not just to reduce our carbon footprint and petroleum import bill, but also to reduce air pollution from diesel vehicles.”
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Tuladhar talks about how the buses will address Nepal’s 3E’s: energy management, environment management and economic management. “Electric buses are a win-win-win for us,” he adds. “Although the capital cost is high, with diesel prices being what they are, our operation costs will come down to make them feasible in the long-run.”
Even before the current fuel price hike, 40% of Sajha Yatayat’s operational cost was fuel, spare parts and maintenance. With the diesel price hike, operating costs will have gone up to 50%, and the additional benefit is that battery-powered vehicles have lower maintenance cost.