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USAID supports Capacity Building of Stakeholders to Accelerate Electric Vehicle roll-out in Nepal


Thursday, July 22, 2021, KATHMANDU: As the Government of Nepal (GoN) seeks to transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, several participants of the Electric Vehicles Workshop hosted by USAID’s Urja Nepal and its companion project, USAID’s South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH), emphasized the importance identifying a business model that catalyzes investment at the local, regional, national, and supranational levels in this rapidly emerging segment.

This was the takeaway of the workshop that welcomed the participation of 35 public and private agencies from Nepal, as well as regional and international experts who showcased multiple business models in use around the world.

Urja Nepal and SAREH organized the workshop to accelerate the government’s roll-out of EVs by improving the knowledge of Nepali stakeholders on global practices and policies, analyzing costs and benefits, understanding multiple business model options for the deployment of EVs, standards for charging infrastructure, and raising the awareness of leading practices related to the siting of public charging stations.

The event coincides with the GoN’s recent budget, where a strong emphasis was placed on developing an EV infrastructure by waiving customs and excise duties on EVs and by signaling its intention to build hundreds of charging stations throughout the country. The GoN aims to replace fossil fuel vehicles with EVs by 2030 as part of its commitment to reduce emissions to address climate change.

“This workshop could not have come at a better time,” said Shanker Khagi, Environment and Energy Specialist at USAID. “This will complement the government’s efforts to roll out an environmentally friendly transportation system in the country that will contribute to addressing climate change, a top priority for U.S. Government assistance in Nepal.” USAID is advancing U.S. Government priorities to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decade and help Nepal increase its resilience to global climate change.

“As we have moved forward with EVs, it is important to explore and understand the utility of EVs and all other aspects associated with them,” said Sagar Mani Gyawali, Project Manager of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Development Project at Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned power utility. “This workshop was a perfect platform for that.”

Besides USAID’s assistance to the GoN in establishing effective policy, regulatory, and technical operational changes to create a financially viable and stable electricity sector, a project priority is to expand the use of new technologies at the distribution level, including EVs.

Note to the editor:
About USAID’s Urja Nepal Project

USAID’s Urja Nepal Project (Urja Nepal) is designed to assist the Government of Nepal (GoN) in establishing effective policy, regulatory, and technical operational changes to create a financially viable and stable electricity sector. Urja Nepal supports GoN efforts to provide affordable, reliable, and secure power while enabling private investment into the Nepali market through improved utility performance and relevant sector policies, deployment of advanced energy systems, increased private sector engagement and advancement of cross-border energy trade.

About USAID’s South Asia Regional Energy Hub

USAID’s South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH) is a regional coordination and communication platform that assists USAID in collating, analyzing, and better communicating its energy programming efforts in South Asia. The program, managed out of USAID/India, aids in the U.S. Government’s interventions in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, to support energy security and clean energy development. SAREH facilitates collaboration and knowledge exchange, while creating new avenues for private sector participation.