Policy on electric vehicles likely by next 2 months

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    KATHMANDU, SEP 15 –

    E20_Electric_VehiclesIf things go as per the government’s plan, the much-awaited policy on the electric and hybrid vehicle s will come into effect within next two months. The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has prepared a draft and sought feedbacks from authorities concerned.

    The ministry has asked for suggestions on the draft policy form environment, finance, urban development and industry ministries, the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs and the Nepal Electricity Authority. It said the draft will be forwarded to the Cabinet for endorsement incorporating the inputs.

    Customs duty waiver for making electric and hybrid automobiles comparatively cheaper, charging stations for electric public vehicle s and conversion of fossil fuel-run old vehicle s into environment-friendly, among others, are envisioned in the policy. “Many countries have already started converting fuel-run cars into electric, but it has not been permitted in our country so far,” said Nabin Pokhreal, senior divisional engineer at the MoPIT.

    Once the policy is endorsed, the government will amend the Vehicle and Transport Management Act to make the policy attuned with the law for effective implementation, according to Pokhrel.

    Even though there is huge scope of bringing and operating eco-friendly four-wheelers in the country, absence of a policy has made such vehicle s expensive due to the exiting provision of heavy customs duty. “The future transport is electric automobiles so there is no other option but to promoting their use and making such products affordable through tax waiver,” said Shekhar Golchha, president of the Nepal Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

    After the demand from auto dealers, the MoPIT had formed a 14-member committee led by the Director General of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) to draft the policy. “The policy is the need of the hour as operation of such vehicle s will help reduce fuel imports,” said Sarad Adhikari, technical director at the DoTM. He said the proposed policy has treated electric and hybrid vehicle s equally for providing government facilities. The draft also includes issues like issuance of route permission for operation of electric public vehicle s, areas for operation of such vehicle s and standards of charging station.

    Currently, there are 2,000-plus electric vehicle s on Nepali roads from branded models like Mahindra Reva e2o and Chinese electric bikes to Safa Tempos. Similarly, there are two hybrid cars — Honda’s Insight and Toyota Prius. “We have received very good response for electric cars as they give more mileage compared to fossil fuel-run cars and keep environment clean,” said Cabinet Shrestha, chairman and managing director of Agni Energy, the sole authorised distributor of Mehendra Reva in Nepal. He said with the fuel price increasing each year, the demand for electric- and solar power-run vehicle s is increasing globally.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post