Electric cycles high on demand

Kathmandu, July 6:

While the country has been reeling under fuel crisis and consequent traffic jam, Valley folks have found a way out of these woes. An increasing number of people are opting for electric cycles, creating a huge demand for such cycles.

Talking to The Himalayan Times today, Prabin Thapa, manager of Absolute International Pvt Ltd, the sole distributor of electric cycles in Nepal, said the demand for electric cycles had increased significantly in the past few months.

He said that very few people would buy such cycles three years back, but presently, over 80 people purchase electric cycles in different sizes and models every month.

“The demand is almost double the supply,”

he said, adding, “We have not been able to put on sale enough electric cycles due to the ongoing protests in Tibet.”

According to Thapa, electric cycles are imported from China’s Shanghai by Saleway Himalaya International and are distributed by Absolute International Pvt Ltd solely in Nepal.

Electric cycles are smaller in size and go at a speed of 30 kilometres an hour. They need to be charged for almost six hours which consumes only 0.6 unit of electricity, costing a nominal Rs 6, he noted.

Expressing the attraction of customers towards such bikes, he said, “People are looking for some modification so that they appear like other scooters.”

The government, however, is yet to decide whether electric cycles should bear a number plate and the rider needs licence. Khagendra Pokharel, director-general of the Department of Transport Management, said, “After the experts explore its features and categorise it, we will provide registration number to cycles and licences to riders.”

Over 400 people have been using electric cycles in the Kathmandu valley.