Electric buses could cut Nepal’s fuel bill by up to 90pc


Feb 7, 2018-

Electric buses could help Nepal save up to 90 percent of its fuel costs compared to diesel-powered buses, according to a new study.

The Electric Bus Pre-Feasibility Study report, jointly prepared by Sajha Yatayat and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), under the Electricity Mobility Programme,

shows operational and financial advantages in switching to electric buses in comparison to fossil-fuel run buses.

The study considered the 17-km Lagankhel-Budhanilkantha sector as the base route for comparing operational expenses. It concludes electric bus operators could recover costs within nine years, besides making a huge 90 percent saving on fuel.

Sharing the findings at a seminar, “Moving Forward with Electric Mobility in Nepal,” GGGI’ Senior Program Officer Rowan Fraser said despite the higher costs of electric buses’, its lifetime expenses on fuel and maintenance is relatively far low.

While the electricity costs only 10 per cent of diesel consumed by a bus, its maintenance will be reduced by half, meaning 37 per cent cost of operating a diesel bus can sustain lifetime operation of an electric bus, the report says.

Comparing with the per bus average operating cost of Sajha bus, around Rs. 4.1 million on diesel and maintenance, excluding labour and administration costs; can be cheaper by nearly Rs. 2.5 million annually.   

“Besides these economical advantages, shifting to electric buses can also have significant social and environmental benefits, resulting in improved air-quality, less noise pollution and increased energy security,” said Fraser.

Various stakeholders including government officials, experts, transport operators, local representatives, planners and private sectors stressed the need to shift to electric vehicles.

Speaking at the event, Ministry of Physical Infrastructures and Transport (MoPIT) Joint Secretary Rajendra Raj Sharma said, “Rest of the world has realised the value of bio-fuels and electric vehicles and has already started working on it. We have to eventually move on.” He admitted the high capital investment on electric buses would be a challenge in the beginning.

Pointing to the benefits of e-buses, as the study shows, Sharma says, “The gains can be reliably quantified once e-buses ply on the roads for a certain period and then tested through rigorous technical calculations.”

The Ministry of Finance Under Secretary Shiva Sharma said, “We are in trade deficit with large amount of budget being spent on importing fossil-fuel. Electric vehicles could be better option to change this situation.”

Published: 07-02-2018 07:38

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