In a bid to promote the government’s plan to prioritise electric vehicles over vehicles that run on fossil fuels, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has announced that it will set up 10 electric vehicle charging stations across Kathmandu Valley within the next six months.
The power utility has recently published a notice seeking land space for lease for the establishment of such vehicle charging stations. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has urged government agencies, business complexes, supermarkets, hotels and hospitals to submit applications.
Lila Kumari Aryal, information officer of NEA, said that the authority aims to set up electric vehicle charging stations especially in areas where vehicular movement is relatively high.
“We will give priority to leasers especially from areas with high vehicular movement,” she added.
NEA plans to publish a tender notice for the procurement of necessary machinery and equipment to set up charging stations within the next few days. The authority has estimated the construction cost of the 10 electric vehicle charging stations to stand at around Rs 100 million.
Following the establishment of the electric charging stations in the Valley, NEA also plans to set up such charging stations across different places in Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Chitwan and Biratnagar.
Along with the government’s priority for electric vehicles and growing concern regarding pollution issues, the demand for electric vehicles has increased in the country in recent years. NEA estimates that there are almost 600 electric vehicles plying on the Valley’s roads. However, owners of such electric vehicles have been forced to charge their vehicles at home owing to the lack of charging stations.
Automobile dealers have also said that the demand for electric vehicles has been increasing in recent years due to low cost factor of such vehicles.
In the policies and programmes of the government unveiled on Friday, the government has announced about giving special treatment to electric vehicles and setting up charging stations for such vehicles across the country.
Through the budget for the ongoing fiscal year, the government had also reduced import duty on electric vehicles (public 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.
However, electric vehicle traders have been saying that reduction in customs duty is not enough to promote electric vehicles. They have been seeking necessary infrastructure charging stations and route permit from the Department of Transport Management for the promotion of electric vehicles.