June 13, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Minister Basnet advocates for EV to boost the economy

The Nepal Weekly
May 21, 2024

Minister for Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet has said that it is necessary to increase the use of electric vehicles in Nepal to conserve the environment and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Speaking at a discussion programme on Green Mobility and Tourism Prosperity organised by Spark Cars in Lalitpur on Friday, he said that he will initiate a policy with the government to increase the use of electric vehicles in the future.

Basnet emphasised that Nepalis should increase the use of electric vehicles to make the environment clean and reduce reliance on petrol and diesel. Operating electric vehicles is comparatively cheaper than vehicles that run on fossil fuels, said Basnet.

He also mentioned that the roadmap and action plan for energy development in Nepal have been made, targeting the generation of 28,500 megawatts of electricity in the next 12 years. “To achieve this, the goal is to build infrastructure such as transmission lines and distribution systems, so the use of electric vehicles will increase in the coming years,” he said.

Basnet said that plans have been made to advance the utilisation of electricity. He said, “In 12 years, the average economic growth is expected to be around 7 percent, and there will be 14,000 megawatts of electricity consumption.”

He also stated that work is being done extensively to expand the charging stations required for electric vehicles. He said that 51 charging stations are being built by the Nepal Electricity Authority.

Likewise, at the programme, Tourism Minister Hit Bahadur Tamang said that tourist inflow could not be increased because Nepal’s infrastructure is not as developed as expected. “The investment needed for tourism infrastructure is insufficient to create a tourism-friendly environment,” he said.

Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari noted that not only green energy but also green banking is being practiced in Nepal. He mentioned that Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has issued environmental and social risk management (ESRM) guidelines to banking institutions. He said, “They do not invest without reviewing the EIA report while investing which shows that the environment is a big priority.”

Adhikari mentioned that through the review of the third quarter of the monetary policy released on Friday, the risk burden of loans taken for the purchase of electric vehicles has been reduced from 125 percent to 100 percent, which will facilitate the import of electric vehicles.

Environmentalist Bhushan Tuladhar highlighted that global temperature is rising, creating extreme weather conditions. He said that recent fires in Nepal have been exacerbated by droughts linked to climate change and that Nepal recently became one of the most polluted cities in the world due to smoke from petrol and diesel vehicles and unorganised urbanisation. He urged the state to address this issue.

At the programme, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cimex Inc., Sahil Shrestha, stated that electric vehicles are now very reliable and affordable. He said, “Increasing the use of electric vehicles is also good for the environment. The battery life of an electric vehicle is usually 20 years, making it cost-effective.”

Roshan Ghimire, Chairman of Spark Group, said that the programme was organised to promote tourism while protecting the environment. He emphasized that all sectors should focus on environmental protection. “With the increase of luxury hotels and resorts, there is a lack of luxury vehicles to serve those tourists,” he added.