October 2, 2022, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

World EV Day : An unnoticed occasion!

The Nepal Weekly
September 13, 2022

World EV Day 2022 is observed on the 9th Day of September. The day is observed to emphasise the importance of e-mobility. World EV Day helps to spread awareness about sustainable transport facilities of the people. Air pollution is mainly caused by transportation, and EVs are one of the major alternatives to decrease air pollution.

World EV Day aims to make people aware of benefits of switching to EVs. Using Electric Vehicle can transform the world for the better and save the environment as well as energy.

Observing of World EV Day appears as yet to be enlisted in the UN agencies so far. Consequently, it sounds that World EV Day is a new productfor Nepal, and most probably in other countries also.

As per the aims of the Day, the value of electric mobility should be well circulated and covered by media in Nepal and elsewhere. Hope, this will be as desired in 2023 and onwards.

Nepal needs to spread awareness and knowledge sharing activities among leaders and laymen. They need to be agreed on need of reducing air pollution which kills more than 22,000 people per year so as consumption of fossil fuel should be drastically reduced soon, consumption of electricity to power electric vehicles is well utilising of clean electricity generated in Nepal by hydropower plants and other renewable energy technologies. That means cost of import of fossil fuel will be de reduced significantly.

The importers and agents of electric vehicles made in China, South Korea, Japan and India are bringing in varieties of SUVs, hatchbacks and small cars affordable to different class of users.    

It is worth to recall that Nepal brought in a record number of EVs in the last fiscal year 2021-22 after seeing their imports up and down trends in Fiscal Year 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 after a good tax rule provisioned in the FY 2016-17.

From the current FY 2022-23, the government has decided to levy excise duty on top of the customs duty on high performance electric vehicles, which has made them more expensive.

The tax rule slapped 30 per cent excise duty on vehicles fitted with 100-200 kW motors. Likewise, a 45 per cent excise duty has been levied on the import of EVs equipped with motors of 201-300 kW capacity. Similarly 60 per cent excise duty has been slapped on EVs with a motor capacity of more than 300 kW.

Above statement shows that promotion of EVs in Nepal is bright which support actions to reduce climate change effects, reduce vehicular air pollution, and reduce import of fossil fuel which is one of the major factors of greater gap in the import and export of the country. Moreover, EVs support consumption of electricity generated in the country.

So far the electric vehicles imported are mainly focused to private and institutional uses while electric vehicles for public transportation have not yet been a focus agenda at governmental and private sectors.

The buses, minibuses and microbuses run by energy stored in the batteries are costly even in the international market. The tax policy and financial policy are not supportive to transport entrepreneurs in Nepal. The entrepreneurs may compromise for small ratio of profit by operating EVs for public transportation. That can be possible if the government waive taxes on import of such vehicles and credit facilities including subsidised interest rate on bank loans.

EVs for public transportation is more important part for Nepal which carries the country’s commitments expressed in the global forums and charters – Net Zero Emission, Nationally Determined Contributions, Sustainable Development Goals, Energy White Paper of Nepal Government, 15th Five Year Planand others. As such, this aspect should be the guideline for Nepal Government to act appropriately and create conducive environment for private sector to be engaged with electric buses and other means which run with electrical power.

Therefore, an argument should be taken valid to advocate financial support for electric vehicles for public transportation from global funds created by UNFCCC, COP resolutions and other possible bilateral and multilateral funding mechanism.

Moreover, the Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is mention worthy as it has shown evidence based facts and figures of contributors of global climate change effects which could lead devastating results in future. It also has recommended measures and instruments.

Electric mobility to replace use of fossil fuel is one of its recommendations. The report stresses the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The analysis from Working Group III, “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change”, was released on April 4th. This section of the report examines the various strategies that might help restore climate equilibrium, and electric vehicles are now seen as our best hope for decarbonizing the transportation sector. The optimistic assessment from the world’s leading climate experts contradicts the persistent arguments of EV detractors who refuse to accept the extraordinary environmental benefits of EVs.