- Diprash Shakya
Tax reforms on import of Electric Vehicles (EV) announced at the recent Budget Declaration for the financial year 2078/79 has sparked enthusiasm amongst the Nepalese Motor enthusiasts in the past month. On the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5), motor vehicle enthusiasts of Kathmandu organized an online interactive session to discuss what the tax reforms would propagate and where the future of E.V holds in modern Nepal.
Environment Conservation being a sensitive issue of the moment, Nepal Auto.com in collaboration with Nepal Automobile Association (NASA) organized the Virtual Interactive Session on Zoom discussing the future of the Electric Vehicle and the challenges it upholds.
Mr. Ram Chandra Poudel, Director (Tech.) of Department of Transport Management (G.O.N) clarified Nepal Government’s stance on Electric Vehicles, the reformed tax, and also shared the active programs running in support of E.V.
Representing the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)’s Environment and Sustainable Commission, Mr Govinda Bhattarai stated that the traditional MotorSports Industry is in the process of an upgrade to Electric Medium by 2030. Although it seems unreal in the present, Mr. Bhattarai insists ‘’Electric Vehicles’’ are the future.
Mr.Dhruba Thapa, the Chairperson at NADA’s Electric Vehicle Committee revealed the harsh business environment for Nepal’s automobile traders due to the Nepal Government’s uncertain stance on policies on Electric Vehicle, despite the presence of huge opportunities in the Electric Vehicle segment. Despite the enthusiasm in Automobile Traders in the past weeks, he adds the need of Government Agencies to promote the import of premium Electric Vehicles and also manufacturing in Nepal.
Furthermore, Mr. Nawaraj Poudel, the Chairperson of Nepal New Energy Vehicle Association (NEVA) pointed out the adverse environmental effects that petrol run vehicles have caused despite the immense revenue it has generated to Nepal Government. He adds, with the immense production of electricity from the booming hydro industry, Nepal Government must introduce necessary positive policies towards the E.V segment.
Electric Vehicle expert Mr. Ashok Pangeni further highlighted the higher resale value and prolonged life of E.Vs when charged well. With the prices of batteries plummeting, and entry of big players like Tesla in manufacturing of batteries, the electric vehicles are bound to get cheaper in future, added Mr. Pangeni.
Institute of Automotive Engineers (IAE) Nepal’s Chairperson Mr. Sushil Tandukar revealed the lack of repair workshops for Electric Vehicles even at the reputed automobile companies at present. He also mentioned the insufficient supply of trained mechanics to repair E.Vs in Nepal.
Promotion of Electric Motorsports and Pollution Control
Representative Member of Nepal Automobile Sports Association (NASA) Mr. Diprash Shakya sees a promising future for the rise of Electric Motorsports even in Nepal if the craze for Electric Vehicles continues to escalate as it has in the present. This will further significantly help control environmental pollution, he added.
Furthermore, Mr. Diprash Shakya envisioned branding Nepal as the go-to destination for E-Racing (Digital Motorsports) to promote Nepal as an important sports destination in the future.
However, the current scenario with COVID cases has definitely halted any possible developments in this segment. The Extreme E-Car Racing Tournament that was planned at Mustang, had to be postponed due to the Covid.
Nevertheless, such electric sporting events are critical opportunities for Nepal, and also a stepping stone for a sustainable development of electric vehicles, added Mr. Diprash Shakya.
In general, the Interaction Session reviewed the current scenario of Electric Vehicles, critical action steps to promote Electric Vehicles, technicalities involved in E.V, Electric Vehicle’s status around the world and the positive impacts that E.V’s will assure to environmental conservation.
The session went live on Nepal Auto’s facebook page that welcomed a wide array of E.V and automobile enthusiasts in the crowd. The participant’s queries were addressed by the present speakers of the Interactive Session.
Mr. Sitaram Nyoupane, Vice President at NASA chaired the session with Mr. Anil Baral, Vice President as the moderator of the interactions.
The interactions were coordinated by Nepal Auto’s Consultant Editor Mr. Ekraj Subedi along with Er. Prabesh Poudel looked after technicalities of the entire session.
The organizers ended the session emphasizing on the need to continue organizing dialogues in promoting sustainable development of the Electric Vehicles ecosystem in Nepal.