Nepal adopts China's BYD electric buses

By Li Xiaohua
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 24, 2018
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China's leading electric vehicle manufacturer BYD handed over five pure electric C6 buses to Nepal in the capital city of Kathmandu on October 23. 

Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli makes a keynote speech during the handover ceremony of the five pure electric C6 buses in Kathmandu on Oct, 23, 2018. [Photo courtesy of BYD]
Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli makes a keynote speech during the handover ceremony of the five pure electric C6 buses in Kathmandu on Oct, 23, 2018. [Photo courtesy of BYD]

It marked a very significant step forward in energy policy, as these are the first 100 percent electric buses introduced to the landlocked country, currently heavily dependent on imports for the petroleum products it uses. 

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made this point very clear, saying: "We are not only talking here about five battery-operated buses, but of the very direction towards clean energy that our economy should be taking."

The Prime Minister also launched the National Action Plan for Electric Mobility, which proposes to ensure that at least 20 percent of all vehicles nationwide will be running on electric power by 2020 and for a reduction in dependence on imported petroleum products by 50 percent by 2050.

The Nepal Electricity Authority is already working on the installation of 20 charging stations around the country in order to encourage electric transportation. 

The five buses handed over by BYD will initially run on the streets of Kathmandu before eventually being used as shuttle buses connecting Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni, and its new airport currently under construction. 

Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sale Division, disclosed that BYD had won the global bid to supply the vehicles in the face of fierce competition with Indian and South Korean enterprises.

Nepal was ranked the last for air-quality among 180 countries according to a global Environmental Performance Index report released by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum last January. 

According to its Prime Minister, Nepal plans to be self-reliant in hydropower within the next few years, adding that the conversion of public transport to domestically-produced electricity will not only displace the "ever-more expensive imported gasoline and diesel," but also "will have significant positive impact on the environment" and the health of the Nepalese people.

The country also hopes to substantially reduce air pollution through electric mobility as part of a drive to boost its tourism industry.

Sherry Li, BYD's general manager for global branding and PR, said she believes that electric bus is a global trend. She cited the southern Chinese city Shenzhen whose entire 15,000-strong bus fleet is now running on electricity.

"I hope our technology could benefit not only developed countries but also undeveloped countries like Nepal, bringing better air and even more happiness to its people," she said.

BYD, one of China's largest privately-owned enterprises, currently provides its renewable energy solutions in over 300 cities in 50 countries and regions in the world.

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