Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), having faced a lot of difficulties and criticism about e-cars as well as e-taxis, is soon to oversee the installation of five charging stations in three different dzongkhags.
MoIC Minister, Lyonpo DN Dhungyel, during meet the Meet-the-Press session held yesterday said the location identified for the quick charging stations will not only be centered in Thimphu, but it will also be installed in Paro and Punakha.
The first charging station is to be installed at the Paro International Airport, Paro. The space has been designated and the charging station will be coming up within two weeks’ time.
The second station will be located at the Centenary Farmers’ Market, Thimphu. The place has already been identified after discussions with the Thimphu Thrompon. It is scheduled to be installed within 15 days’ time. The third station will be at Chunzom.
“Since the space falls under Paro the discussion are going on with the Paro Dzongda and it is at an advanced stage. Once the required land is given by the Paro Dzongkhag the station will be stationed there as well,” Lyonpo DN Dhungyel added.
The fourth and fifth station will be located in Punakha, one at Khuruthang town and the other in Thinleygang. Although the station spaces have been identified by the e-car dealers, however, the approval of the dzongkhag is yet to be confirmed. At the moment, discussions are ongoing with the dzongkhag.
Lyonpo said, “To cater to the needs of the taxi drivers, the dealer has already started giving free charging facility from its showroom. It started two weeks ago and the Taxis who are driving the e-cars are charging free of cost from stations.” However, he said that it is a temporary arrangement being made until all the charging stations are put into place.
Apart from the private dealer the government has received offers for five charges from JICA.
Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) also stated that within July and August, about two to three charging stations will be set up by the government also. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is also providing assistance to set up the charging stations. “About five quick charging equipment are being offered to the government by JICA,” he added. The ministry said the e-car dealers have assured the ministry that all the five stations will be in place within the next one to two months.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay also emphasized on the importing of second hand e-cars yesterday during the Meet-the-Press.
He said, “We cannot ban the imports of e-cars, they are doing well”, adding that on the import of second hand e-cars, “Even though they are doing well, taxis have had complaints only because they do not have charging stations, not on the cars itself.”
Lyonchhen also pointed out that the Cabinet wanted to discuss and reconsider the import of second hand e-cars based on the fact that Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had questioned its legitimacy. He said that they made it very clear that it was legal and it is within the government’s authority to allow the import of second hand e-cars.
“However, with an honorable institution, such as ACC deems and questions on the legality on the import of second hand e-cars, we have decided to discuss it and it’s not yet been decided”, Lyonchhen said.