Fuel shortages: Electric vehicles spark interest – Kathmandu Post

Posted: Monday, October 05, 2015

Oct 5, 2015- Dealers of electric vehicles (EVs) are hopeful the fuel shortages will prompt the people to opt for EVs.

Sales of EVs have so far been slow largely due to extended load-shedding hours in the country, but the dealers say there has been a phenomenal growth in enquiries from potential buyers after Indian restriction on
oil supply to Nepal. They have
also reported a rise in sales and bookings.
To cash in on increased people’s interest in EVs, the dealers have launched various promotional campaigns. “We are overwhelmed by enquiries and bookings from customers fed up with the fuel shortages,” said Bardan Basnet, general manager of Agni Energy, authorised distributor of Mahindra Reva in Nepal.
The company, which used to sell two-three cars a month, said it sold over four cars in just a week. Basnet said they were hopeful the government would also take initiatives to promote electric vehicles, adding they were also trying to make consumers aware with various promotional campaigns.
“People usually don’t accept electric vehicles, citing higher price and maintenance difficulties, but most of them are not aware of the fact that EVs have lots of benefits like tax rebate and lower driving cost, besides the environmental factor,” said Basnet.
The government has slashed customs duty on EVs by 50 percent in the budget for this fiscal year.
Agni had launched the Mahindra Reva e2o car last year. The car comes with 16 units of lithium-ion batteries that consume 10 units electricity. “A normal petrol car offers around 20kmpl mileage, whereas an electric car like the e2o goes up to 120 km in a single charge,” Basnet said. The Reva e2o costs Rs2.435 million. The traders said the government should further slash the customs duty to promote electric vehicles. “The enquiries suggest there are customers who want to buy electric bike or car, but they are discouraged higher price and load-shedding,” said Surendra Manandhar, managing director of Astha Automobiles, authorised distributor of Oreva electric scooters.
He said although the government halved the customs duty, it was insufficient to promote the market.  The company sold 10 scooters within a week, against usual sales of three-four units a month. Astha sells five models of scooters, priced between Rs110,000 to Rs225, 000.
Prime Business, authorised distributor of Hero electric bikes, is also witnessing a rise in sales and enquiries. “We have sold 12 units since we bagged the dealership last month, and a number of customers have placed bookings as we don’t have enough stock,” said Suraj Ghiraiya, managing director of the company. The company has two scooter models priced between Rs145,000 to Rs160,000.

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