Electric news

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- Manohar Shrestha

Jan 26, 2018-

The Nepal government recently called for policy formulation to promote electric vehicles. It will create a plan to popularise battery powered automobiles. This is a decision in the right direction. As a country rich in hydro energy potential and possessing huge prospects of solar and wind energy, it should have taken the lead in promoting electric transportation much earlier. In fact, Nepal was the first and only country on the subcontinent to have a electric public trolley bus transportation, gifted by China in the mid-1970s. We could have been one of the first in the world to run trolley buses, as even foreign visitors used to gawk at them with awe as they effortlessly glided on the fine highway through vast expanses of green fields with stunning views of the Himalaya in the horizon. 

How the modern Nepali people turned these—both trolley buses and the fine environment—into a ball of mess could be a classic case study in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) colleges located around the crowded, disorganised and messy Baneshwor crossroads. The roads in Kathmandu have witnessed battery-powered three-wheeler public transportation, affectionately called tempos, many driven by women. There were gas-powered four-wheelers too. That the Nepal government is suddenly waking up to the reality of e-vehicles is a matter of happiness. So is its rumination to make e-vehicles mandatory for its top civil servants. It would be good if the new policy could be introduced from the New Nepali Year 2075. Notices banning entry to fossil fuel vehicles can go up at all government and semi-government office premises from this date even if they ply the city roads. 

The top civil servants can be dropped off at the gate (from where they can proceed on foot to their offices) until such time that the government acquires electric scooters, mopeds and cars for their daily commute. Promotion of e-vehicles is a sign of the times that makes economic and environmental sense for an impoverished country like Nepal. Use of clean electrical energy for all transportation, generated especially from the sun and wind resources, will not only bring down our giddy import costs of fossil fuels but will also help in greening our cities, towns and indeed the entire country. Internationally, European countries such as Germany and France will go fully electric on the roads by 2025 and 2040, respectively. India has already set an ambitious goal to use electric vehicles by 2030. Tech giant Tesla is already producing fine electric cars. And nearer home, India’s Mahindra has been producing cute little electric cars, some of which can be seen on the dusty, broken roads of Kathmandu. Many car giants will phase out petrol and diesel vehicles altogether in a few years. 

Published: 26-01-2018 08:14

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