Kathmandu, January 10:

The Electric Vehicles Association of Nepal (EVAN) today demanded that the government waive 32 per cent excise duty being levied in the import of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to promote them in the country.

“The number of EVs could not be increased because of the unfavourable policy of the government despite its frequent commitments to support the zero emission technologies in the nation,” said Hridaya Narayan Manandhar, president of EVAN, at a press conference organised here today. “We demand the government to waive the excise duty the government is charging in the import of EVs.”

The entrepreneurs claimed that they could not increase the number of EVs due to excessive amount of excise duty.

“This technology not only saves money spent for the fossil fuel but also contributes to keep us healthy,” Manandhar said adding that there are number of reasons for the government to promote EVs at a time when the price of petroleum products is increasing day by day. Nepal can receive thousands of dollars if we can increase the existing 600 EVs to some 2,000 through the Clean Development Mechanism project under the Kyoto Protocol.

Manandhar also demanded that the government devise a policy to convert 20-year-old vehicles being displaced from the Valley into electric vehicles. Some 13,000 such vehicles would be displaced from the Valley soon. He also informed that Nepal has gained experience to manufacture EVs and make it sustain in the market.

Newly elected president of the Clean Locomotives Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal (CLEAN), Umesh Raj Shrestha, said the government should implement seasonal rate of the electricity and provide electricity during night hours in cheaper rates. “The rates provided for the irrigation purpose would also do,” said Shankar Prasad Dhital, outgoing EVAN general secretary.

Former EVAN president Lal Bahadur Ghising said the government should collect pollution tax from the use of fossil fuel and support EVs.

Some 600 EVs have been providing service to around 100,000 people every day on an average at several short distance routes for the last eight years. EVAN is an umbrella organisation of CLEAN, Electric Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association of Nepal and Electric Vehicles Charging Association.