Sajha Yatayat Cooperative Ltd today signed an agreement with CHTC Kinwin (Nanjing) Automobile Company of China for the supply, delivery, and maintenance of 40 electric buses for Kathmandu valley.

Bandana Thapa, board member of Sajha Yatayat, and Rajan Rayamajhi, managing director of NEV Nepal Pvt Ltd (three-Go Group) and representative of CHTC in Nepal signed the agreement on behalf of Sajha Yatayat and CHTC, respectively. The total contract amount for 40 e-buses and 20 charging stations is USD 3,738,540, excluding taxes, and Rs 67,365,553 for training and five years of maintenance, including spare parts.

According to a press release issued by Sajha Yatayat, the procurement process was completed after expert analysis of nine bids that were received by the deadline of July 2. CHTC will initially supply three e-buses within four months, which will be tested for performance under Kathmandu valley condition before the rest of the order is completed.

This performance clause was placed in the contract in view of the novelty of battery-operated full-size buses in the national context.

The 36-seater disabled-friendly, battery-operated e-buses, with a total capacity of over 42 passengers, will have a range of 200-km per charge.

Even as the current order is being fulfilled, Sajha Yatayat has already started the process of conducting necessary research to procure larger e-buses as well.

Sajha Yatayat has also started the process of procuring four sightseeing electric buses, in collaboration with Lalitpur metropolis and is conducting research on conversion of old diesel buses to electric ones. Similarly, it is working with the government and Nepal Electricity Authority to set up charging stations.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 9, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.