T he 2015 Nepal blockade, which began on 23 September 2015, caused a serious economic and humanitarian crisis in the country majorly due to total foreign dependency on petroleum products. Nepal imports all of its petroleum supplies from India. Roughly 300 fuel trucks enter from India on a normal day which dwindled to a sporadic passage of 5–10 fuel trucks daily since the start of the crisis. The blockade choked imports of petroleum completely disrupting the transport industry.
This shed light into the need for an alternative solution and total fuel dependency for transport continues to be a problem even after the blockade has lifted. Many options of alternative energy are not feasible, for example, coal is too difficult to dig up and transport to give us the energy we need; nuclear fission is judged to be too dangerous; use of bio gas is also not very feasible.
However, Nepal possesses certain unique characteristics that favor Electrical Vehicles (EVs) expansion, particularly in Kathmandu. The first is the combination of Nepal’s immense potential for hydropower generation and limited power utilization capability during off-peak hours and especially now that load shedding is a thing in the past. Battery operated EVs, in particular, could take full advantage of this and deliver substantial benefits to society at minimal additional cost.
Nepal imports 100% of the gasoline and diesel fuel it needs and reduced dependency could result financial benefits. In addition, direct economic benefits can be accrued from electrical vehicles production and charging stations. A number of other benefits include employment generation and cross-sectorial advantages. Employment generation itself is significant. The use of electrical vehicles will also minimize air pollution.
These various factors, coupled with the fact that Nepal actually has a functioning EV transit system in Kathmandu makes Electric Vehicles a preferable alternative to fuel operated vehicles. A brief research for our group project implores the possible scope for electric vehicles and their current status in Nepal.