Kathmandu: The fiscal budget for 2021/22, presented by the erstwhile KP Oli-led government through an ordinance, put an emphasis on developing an Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the country. To do that, it decided to waive customs and excise duties on EVs and signaled its intention to build hundreds of charging stations throughout the country. The government aimed to replace fossil fuel vehicles with EVs by 2030 as part of its commitment to reduce emissions to address climate change. These programs are likely to be continued by the current and upcoming governments in the years to come.
At a virtual program “Electric Vehicles Workshop” held on July 22, almost all of the participants emphasized the importance of identifying a business model that catalyzes investment at the local, regional, national, and supranational levels to achieve the country’s ambitions on the EV front. The workshop, hosted by USAID’s Urja Nepal and its companion project, South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH), saw the participation of representatives from 35 public and private agencies from Nepal and other regional and international experts, who showcased multiple business models in practice across the world today.
The workshop provided a primer on EVs to Nepali stakeholders on global practices and policies, analyzing costs and benefits, understanding multiple business model options for the deployment of EVs, and standards for charging infrastructure.
“This workshop could not have come at a better time,” said Shanker Khagi, Environment, and Energy Specialist at USAID. “This will complement the government’s efforts to roll out an environmentally friendly transportation system in the country that will contribute to addressing climate change.”
Speaking at the program, Sagar Mani Gyawali, Project Manager of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Development Project at Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned power utility, noted that it is important to “explore and understand the utility of EVs and all other aspects associated with them”.
The Urja Nepal Project aims to assist the Nepal government in creating a financially viable and stable electricity sector.