Nepal | July 07, 2020

Govt to build 200 charging stations across country

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, August 26

In a bid to promote the government’s plan to prioritise electric vehicles (EVs) to maximise the use of electricity, the government is gearing up to set up more than 200 EV charging stations across the country.

As per the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI), the guideline for operation of EVs is in the final stage and will be made public within a week.

Prabin Aryal, joint secretary at MoEWRI, informed that a taskforce assigned the responsibility of making the guideline is finalising it. The team has completed the preliminary works of holding necessary discussions with the concerned stakeholders and drafted the guideline.

Once the guideline is implemented, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will be responsible for building charging stations and providing electricity. “However, the guideline will be flexible in terms of setting up the charging stations, meaning companies selling EVs will also be allowed to instal them.”

Aryal further said the government is primarily targeting to minimise the use of vehicles operating on fossil fuels and promote EVs.

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 the EVs is cheaper than fossil fuel-run vehicles, so the basic infrastructure of charging stations will be needed,” Aryal explained.

On May 5, NEA published a notice seeking to rent land for establishment of 10 vehicle charging stations in the Valley. However, nothing concrete has materialised so far due to lack of a related guideline.

Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for NEA, informed that after receiving the guideline from the energy ministry, the power utility will focus on building the charging stations and other EV-related works.

“We will have energy surplus from the end of this fiscal year,” he said, adding that NEA also plans to set up such charging stations in different places like Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Chitwan and Biratnagar, where vehicle density is comparatively higher.
Through the budget for the ongoing fiscal year, the government had also reduced import duty on public electric vehicles to one per cent from 30 per cent. Similarly, import duty on private electric vehicles had been slashed to 10 per cent from 30 per cent. Along with this, the government does not levy excise duty on electric vehicles.

A version of this article appears in print on August 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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