Kathmandu, August 29
The taskforce formed by the government to formulate ‘operational guideline of electric vehicle and establishment of charging stations’ has submitted its report to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI).
Prabin Aryal, spokesperson for MoEWRI, said the committee, which was formed on February 25, has submitted its report and has suggested assigning Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to handle the regulation, management and other EV-related works.
As per Aryal, after the ministry approves the guideline, NEA will make the related regulations, handle management of the EV charging stations and working procedures.
NEA will then be responsible for giving approvals to set up the charging stations, ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the charging stations, monitoring its security and leakage, determining service charge, testing and authentication, checking the infrastructure-related issues, taxes and other EV-related issue in the guideline.
Aryal further informed that they have suggested NEA to provide electricity tariff in the charging stations as per the existing rate for domestic and ‘other’ customers for now.
Domestic consumers have been defined as households that are receiving electricity from 11 kVA transmission lines, ‘other’ consumers receive electricity from 33 kVA transmission lines, while industrial consumers receive electricity from above 66 kVA lines.
At present, the NEA is charging between Rs 4.15 and Rs 14 per unit for domestic and ‘other’ customers as per their electricity consumption during peak, offpeak and normal times. As per NEA, households and ‘other’ customers that include small businesses are paying Rs 8.48 per unit on an average.
“However, the guideline will be flexible in terms of setting up the charging stations, which means companies selling EVs will also be allowed to instal them,” he said.
“The final rate for the charging stations of EVs will be determined by Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission,” Aryal informed.
He further mentioned that hotels and restaurant owners will be allowed to establish charging stations within their premises, given than they meet the set criteria.
Lila Kumari Aryal, information officer at NEA, said the authority will start to make a working procedure and regulation guideline after formally receiving the ‘operational guidelines of electric vehicles and establishment of charging stations’ from the ministry.
Earlier, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun, had said the government will instal more than 200 charging stations across the country to minimise the trade deficit and also for the betterment of the environment.
In December, the government had decided to buy 300 electric buses for public transportation.
“The operation cost of EVs is cheaper than fossil fuel-run vehicles, so the basic infrastructure of charging stations will be needed,” Prabin explained.
Moreover, the private sector is also ready to operate EVs but without proper policy, they have stalled the operation works since last six months. Sundar Yatayat Pvt Ltd had bought two 40-seater electric buses and has placed an order for seven more for operation in Kathmandu Valley.
Even as the operational guideline is finally in place, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) is yet to set travel tariff for public EVs. This is despite the fact that the Department of Transport Management, which is responsible for fixing transport fee, forwarded their proposal to MoPIT around six months ago.
A version of this article appears in print on August 30, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.
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