Promote eco-friendly vehicles

Amid transportation difficulties due to the ongoing fuel crisis in the country, experts have urged the government to implementation the Environment-friendly Vehicle and Transport Policy 2014 which aims to make environment-friendly vehicles one-fifth part of the country’s total transportation fleet by 2020.


The policy, drafted by Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, proposes building infrastructure to encourage the use environment-friendly vehicles.


Chairman of National Economic Concern Society Nepal Ganga Bahadur Thapa said the government has not made any preparations to draft acts and guidelines as per the policy.


“Promotion and development of vehicles that run on alternative energy is the long-term solution of fuel shortage,” Thapa said.


NECS has been campaigning for the use of environment-friendly vehicles in the country for the last nine years.


According to Thapa, the government should further allow them to convert fossil fuel-run vehicles into electric ones, provide subsidy for industries that are associated in production, research and development of such vehicles, and develop the use of alternative energy in transportation system.


Among the list of ambitious plans proposed by the Environment-friendly Vehicle and Transport Policy, are setting up 10 electric charging stations around Kathmandu’s Ring Road, setting up battery-recycling centre, manufacturing plants for electric vehicles’ parts and products, and developing infrastructure for bicycles, motorcycles, cars, taxis, micro and minibuses, trams, trolley and electric rails.


The policy also envisions formation of a central Environment-friendly Vehicle and Transport Operation Committee to oversee the development of environment-friendly vehicles manufacturing industry in the country and local committees as per need.


Chairman of Electric Vehicle Association of Nepal Umesh Raj Shrestha said the government should immediately implement the policy and formulate laws accordingly.


“A route study committee for environment-friendly vehicles has already submitted its report to the government, but nothing has been done yet,” he said. “The government has also not made it easier to register vehicles that run on alternative energy, nor has it provided route permits for such vehicles.”


Nepal is reeling under an acute shortage of fuel as India has limited the supply of fuel. People across the country are facing difficulty travelling.


Shrestha said electric vehicles can make the country self-reliant in the transportation sector.


He said that electric vehicles save more than 60 percent on operation cost  compared to fossil fuel-run vehicles which amounts to around Rs 140,000 per vehicle.