Environmentalists for electric vehicles

Lalitpur, May 16: Environmentalists have demanded a fast adoption of electric vehicles by converting the fossil fuel vehicles into electric ones.

This demand has been made with an objective of operating at least 20 per cent of electric vehicles by 2020 to reduce air pollution in the city area.

The government must lay emphasis on electric vehicles by introducing different promotional programmes to transfer the country’s dependency from the fossil-fuel driven vehicles to electric vehicles, they said.

Though the Environment Friendly Transportation Policy, 2071 has included the provision of conversion of vehicles from the fossil to electric, it could not come into effect in lack of working procedure. As a result, air pollution has increased in the city area.

In recent years, a large number of people have been killed by non-communicable diseases, which is caused by increasing air pollution caused by vehicle emission in the city area. Therefore, the government must put its effort to introduce electric vehicles that produce zero pollution, the environmentalists said at a press conference jointly organised by Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists, (NEFEJ), Clean Energy Nepal and Nepal Electric Vehicles Association here on Thursday.

The participating environmentalists expressed serious concern for not introducing working procedures for the operation of the electric vehicle.

 The environment-friendly electric vehicles could not come into operation due to the lack of working procedures though it already introduced environment friendly transportation policy five years ago.

According to them, the electric vehicles could charge batteries during night time, when less amount of electricity will be consumed. The electric vehicles having new lithium-ion batteries could work for eight to twelve hours after getting charged once. 

Bhushan Tuladhar, chairperson of the Clean Energy Nepal, demanded introduction of promotional programmes in upcoming budgets for the better performance of the electric vehicles.

He stressed on the requirement of the environment-friendly vehicles and transportation committees in all states, establishment of 10 charging stations in the Kathmandu Valley and outside.

Umesh Raj Shrestha, chairman of Nepal Electric vehicle Entrepreneur Association, said if the government  exempted customs  tariff on electric vehicles, many people would be motivated to use the electric vehicles.

Currently, public transportation vehicles have been contributing more to air pollution. Therefore, the conversion policy must be applied first in public transportation for a better result, he added.

Kosmas Bishworkarma, chairman of the NEFEJ, said if the government was positive for bringing about better changes in city environment, all government vehicles must be converted into electric ones..

If Nepal liberalises the use of new fossil fuel vehicles, it will not be able to replace them with electric vehicles even in the next 20 years. The authority must think about it, he added.

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