In order to reduce emission and provide safe, reliable, accessible and affordable transportation system, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MOIC) will conduct a pilot project on viability of electric vehicles by replacing 300 internal combustion engine taxis with electric vehicle, and on the same line, has plans to install 23 quick-charging stations in the western region.
The project will be implemented over a period of three years and will end by July 22, 2021.
An official from the Policy and Planning Division under MOIC said, “The project is expected to establish an ecosystem to promote sustainable and inclusive transportation services which are safe, reliable, accessible and affordable for all and to contribute to the goal of remaining carbon neutral at all times.”
He said, “The project will facilitate the initial stage of low carbon transition in Bhutan’s urban transport systems by promoting a wider uptake of low emission vehicles with a focus on electric vehicles and the taxi sector.
The official added, “Currently, the taxi sector in the capital has been chosen for the pilot project. The project will work on the replacement of 300 internal combustion engine taxis with electric vehicles and we also have plans to install 23 quick charging stations over a period of three years. The project has greater national significance with its direct relevance to reducing emission from the transport sector, thereby strengthening environment conservation efforts in Bhutan, which is one of the pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH)”.
“We are starting with taxi because in the core town area many people commute in taxis and moreover, electric buses are very expensive,” admitted the official.
The project consists of three interlinked components dealing with policy and regulation development, awareness raising and capacity building and investment support.
The government of India announced an ambitious plan to make all passenger vehicles electric by 2030 in order to reduce fuel import and pollution.
So, if India is planning to make every new vehicle coming onto its roads electric, we do not have other option but to go electric too, added the official.
The project worth USD 2.65mn, funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) under United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) was signed between MOIC, Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and UNDP on 28 September 2018.