By Ajay Chhetri, Kathmandu, Nov. 29: The import of electric vehicles (EV) has increased sharply. The Customs Department data reveals that it’s triggered by 164.09 per cent to 4075 up from 1543 in the four months of the current fiscal year (FY) in comparison to the same previous duration.
The data also shows a spiking figure of EVs imports in recent years. The import recorded in the FY 2017/18 (678), in the FY 2018/19 (876), in the FY 2019/20 (890), in the FY 2020/21 (1234), in the FY 2021/22 (692) that includes car, jeep, van, motorcycle, and scooter.
Specifically, the number of import of the electric three-wheeler (e-Rickshaw) is among the highest in number. According to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the number of e-Rickshaw registered in the Department of Transport is 11,894 in FY 2015/16, 2,247 in FY 2016/17, 12,325 in FY 2017/18, and 1,068 in 2019/20.
The information officer of the Customs Department, Punya Bikram Khadka, viewed that the relaxation in the imports duties has incentivized the EVs consumers. He informed that importers also get reimbursement in various duties charges by the Customs Department.
The EVs are included in the import duty of 10 to 30 per cent tax bracket while the duties bracket for other vehicles stands around 80 per cent of the purchase price.
For EVs, the incumbent government has scheduled to install 50 charging stations from east to west of Nepal. Spokesperson of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Suresh Bahadur Bhattarai informed that the tender process has been completed and that the NEW was expecting the installing work of the charging stations within the next 6 months.
According to the Chairman of the NADA Electrical Vehicle (EV) committee, Dhurva Thapa, policy stability like duties levied on imports and the absence of infrastructure like charging stations are major challenges to promote EVs.
The government has envisaged attracting world's top 10 brands of electric vehicles to set up industries in Nepal in addition to building 500 charging stations across the country within this FY 2021/22.