The roadblocks obstructing EV uptake in Nepal

(The Third Pole, 17 Nov 2023) Public and private transport in Nepal is taking its first steps towards electrification, but to reach its destination the country must first navigate infrastructure and policy shortfalls.

Shilshila Acharya was initially hesitant to buy her first electric car back in 2018, because she was worried how it would perform. But Acharya, who directs the Avni Center for Sustainability in Kathmandu, did not want to buy a petrol or diesel car. “I just had my child at that time and definitely didn’t want to transport the next generation in environmentally damaging vehicles,” she explains. Five years later, Acharya is happy with her decision: “It is comfortable, cost-effective, and doesn’t contribute to emissions.”

Acharya’s decision is just one example of Nepal’s growing enthusiasm for electric vehicles (EVs) in recent years. Orders for EVs at Sipradi, a major car trader and the sole distributor in Nepal of India’s Tata Motors, reached a record high during Nepal’s national auto trade show (NADA) in mid-September. Sipradi’s marketing manager, Aviruchi Giri, says the response has been overwhelming: “We launched two new EV cars and one ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicle, and almost all the attention from potential buyers was for the electric option.”

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The Third Pole, 17 Nov 2023: The roadblocks obstructing EV uptake in Nepal