+

Promoting EVs in Nepal offers opportunities, but you also need to address challenges together

Photo: Techcrunch

In the contemporary world of motor vehicles, one cannot forget to mention electric-powered cars. They are the new wave of electric vehicles (EVs) in the car industry powered by rechargeable batteries that rely entirely on electricity. In a country with a significant amount of hydroelectricity potential, EVs in Nepal are getting popular.

The introduction of EVs in Nepal has aimed to reduce environmental pollution from combustion vehicles. Vehicles that run on combustion fuels to power the engine are significant components of polluting the environment due to the harmful waste gases produced, such as carbon dioxide. Major countries globally, for this reason, are pushing to have electric vehicles as the standard form of transport means to be used rather than gasoline engine powered vehicles. Following the same trend, EVs in Nepal are also being promoted.

Of course, the EVs in Nepal have come with a lot of opportunities, but the country also needs to address a lot of challenges to reap benefits from them.

Promoting EVs in Nepal

Electric vehicles use lead-acid, lithium-ion nickel hydrated batteries to power their electric motors. These batteries are designed to hold large power capacities during charging which can power up the vehicle. It is an excellent idea to switch from combustion vehicles to EVs in Nepal as they also come with a wide range of benefits.

For this reason, as in most other regions, the Nepal government also encourages electric vehicles to reduce the impact of fossil fuels on the environment since they do not produce exhaust waste. With its revenues policy to discourage fossil fuel cars, the government has directly impacted the imports of EVs in Nepal.

Moreover, just recently, the government has introduced a policy to allow combustion vehicles to convert into EVs in Nepal.

Opportunities

Nepal electricity representational image
Representational image: Nepal electricity

The opportunities to bring and use electric cars in Nepal are pretty plenty, starting with increasing activities for the robust economy. Electric vehicles have become a fan favourite for most car enthusiasts. With taxes reduced by the Nepal government, there has been a spurt in imports of electric cars over the past six months. Reportedly, it imported about 1,350 electric vehicles in December 2021, which is nearly five times more than the exact period last fiscal year when it just imported about 250 electric cars only. The opportunity is the growth of its international market, which can factor in importing electric vehicles. As much as Nepal has one of the fastest-growing economies, it has a low income of about  $36.168 billion and $1,155.10 per capita annual revenue in 2019/20.

Nepal’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture although the service sector accounts for the more significant portion of the GDP. Agriculture alone contributes about 27.5% of the GPD and 65.7% of employment. Promoting EVs in Nepal, hence, can open international trade significantly.

Another great opportunity electric cars can bring to Nepal is the creation of employment opportunities for its citizens. Electric vehicles are not like gasoline-powered cars; hence, they require a specialised mechanic who can work on them during technical failures. When the government and the citizens acquire more EVs in Nepal, it creates a gap for mechanical technicians, creating an employment opportunity for citizens, which boosts the economy overall. Also, it will encourage the electric vehicle franchise and dealerships in Nepal which will create employment opportunities for marketing personnel and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Electric cars are more technologically reliant cars rather than mechanical ones; hence, they can promote technology exploration and advancement in Nepal. In stepping up the country’s technological structures to match the needs of electric cars, the state will need to invest more into the manufacturing of spare parts to ensure easy access to repair components and affordability. When these EVs in Nepal break down, one has to order the spare part from the manufacturer and wait for quite a long time before they have it delivered to them, which is inconvenient. Hence, it can be an opportunity for the country to establish a partnership with the particular electric car manufacturers to develop industries within Nepal to manufacture these spare parts. It will promote industrialisation, employment opportunities, and the country’s income in the long run.

Challenges

electric car charging station electric vehicle EVs
Representational image: An electric car

In contrast, EVs in Nepal come with many barriers and challenges to being used in the first place. The primary challenge is that it is significantly expensive to purchase in the first place; hence, they are not run-to vehicles for everyone.

Nepal is affected by many challenges despite being a developing country in general. There is political instability, widespread corruption, and a poorly trained and educated workforce affect the people. It means that the ratio of working individuals to that of non-working is pretty low. The majority of the people do not have stable incomes, which is a limiting factor both individually and economically. As a result, not so many people can afford electric cars, and those who can afford them, or the high-class people, make up a small percentage of Nepal’s population.

They are low-maintenance cars since they rely on electric power to operate. However, their maintenance is quite heavy and could cost up to the value of a typical gasoline-powered car, making it very challenging to resort to as a daily use vehicle. Also, Nepal does have an advanced and well-developed infrastructure that can facilitate the smooth applicability of these vehicles. They are not designed for rough, bumpy terrains, but the lovely smooth road works efficiently.

Now, the government needs to work on addressing these challenges.

React to this post

KC is studying the master's of science in information technology (MSIT) at Wilmington University, United States.

More From the Author

Conversation

New Old Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to Onlinekhabar English to get notified of exclusive news stories.