KATHMANDU, Jan 4: The gasoline stations will now have to maintain charging ports for electric vehicles mandatorily in order to operate their businesses. According to the new provision introduced by the government, the existing fuel stations will have to install charging units while renewing their license while the new stations will have to abide by the rule while acquiring their license.
The work plan prepared by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI) to increase electricity use and minimize the use of fossil fuels has maintained this provision. A cabinet meeting has endorsed the ministry’s work plan and has sent it to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for implementation.
According to an official of the NOC, the operating petrol pumps will need to manage the charging points to facilitate the use of electric vehicles (EVs) right away if it is feasible.
The government has maintained the policy to promote use of the EVs to replace the means of transportation powered by fossil fuel. Of late, the private sector has also increasingly started using EVs.
The records with the Department of Customs (DoC) show that in the first five months of the current fiscal year, Nepal imported 3,675 electric cars, jeeps, and vans of three different engine capacities, costing a total of Rs 9.02 billion. In the same period last year, only 1,353 such vehicles were imported in the four-wheelers segment.
Despite a notable rise in the use of EVs, motorists still face hurdles of recharging their vehicles due to lack of adequate number of charging stations for this purpose. The government report shows around 10,000 EVs on an average, now ply on the roads across the country. However, barely 150 charging stations are in operation.
As of now, Nepal Electricity Authority has installed 51 charging stations, while it is constructing additional 14 units. The private sector has brought into operation 81 charging stations.
A task force led by joint-secretary of the MoEWRI Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal prepared the report on the possibility of operating charging stations via petrol pumps. The report shows lack of adequate space at many existing petrol pumps as a hindrance to make them operate charging stations on their premises.
The report endorsed by the cabinet talks on facilitating the government bodies to use the EVs while maintaining the policy provision to encourage the private sector to build charging stations. The government will manage leasing public land to the private sector for this purpose.