Japanese EV cars for Bhutan

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has an enlightened plan to make its people even happier by spreading the use of eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
“We have facilities that can generate renewable, cheaper power using river water,” said Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo on July 1.
Tobgay, who arrived June 29 and departs Japan on July 3, added: “Gasoline is expensive and unfriendly to the environment. Sustainable transportation will bring citizens happiness.”
He explained that the Buddhist country will introduce Japanese manufacturer-made electric vehicles to improve its “gross national happiness (GNH),” an indicator advocated by Bhutan to measure the quality of life among citizens.
The indicator prioritizes people’s happiness over economic growth and is regarded as one of the country’s key indexes. It captured considerable attention when King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife toured Japan in 2011.
Earlier this year, the kingdom decided to replace all cars in the capital, Thimphu, with electric vehicles in cooperation with Nissan Motor Co.
On his current visit, the prime minister also asked Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to help the country achieve that goal.
Bhutan will hold an international convention in November 2015 to publicize the concept of GNH, according to Tobgay.
“We will invite 250 experts from Japan and other nations,” he said. “We hope to discuss how to use the indicator in developing political policies as well as better ways to measure happiness.”