Minister Basnet advocates for electric vehicles to boost Nepal’s environment and economy

KATHMANDU: Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, has underscored the necessity of increasing the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Nepal to protect the environment and reduce costs. Speaking at a discussion program on ‘Green Mobility and Tourism Prosperity’ organized by Spark Cars on Friday, Minister Basnet announced his intent to initiate government policies to promote EV usage in the future.

Highlighting the environmental and economic benefits, Basnet stated, “Electric vehicles are essential not only for a cleaner environment but also to lower consumer expenditure on petrol and diesel. Utilizing our hydropower to drive vehicles is more cost-effective than importing fuel.”

Minister Basnet also outlined Nepal’s ambitious energy development roadmap, targeting the generation of 28,500 megawatts of electricity within the next 12 years. This plan includes the necessary infrastructure, such as transmission lines and distribution systems, to support the anticipated growth in EV usage. He projected that with an average economic growth rate of around 7 percent, electricity consumption would reach 14,000 megawatts in the same period.

To support this transition, extensive efforts are being made to expand the network of EV charging stations. “There was initial confusion akin to the chicken or egg dilemma, but now both vehicles and charging stations are being developed concurrently,” Basnet said, noting that the Nepal Electricity Authority is constructing 51 charging stations across the country.

Tourism Minister Hit Bahadur Tamang also spoke at the event, stressing the need for improved infrastructure to boost tourism. “Investment in tourism infrastructure is currently insufficient to create a tourism-friendly environment,” he said.

Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari highlighted the role of green banking in Nepal’s environmental strategy. He explained that the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has implemented Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) guidelines, ensuring that banking institutions consider environmental impacts in their investments. He noted that the risk burden for loans taken to purchase electric vehicles has been reduced from 125 percent to 100 percent, facilitating their import.

Environmentalist Bhushan Tuladhar raised concerns about rising global temperatures and their impact on Nepal. He pointed out that recent fires exacerbated by droughts and unorganized urbanization have made Kathmandu the most polluted city in the world. Tuladhar urged the government to address these environmental issues urgently.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday May 19, 2024, 10:57:56 AM |

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