Five months since they were introduced to the capital, electric buses still aren't being used for local transportation. Because of the long and tiresome procedure to obtain route permits, it will be three more months before the buses can ply on city roads, Nepal Electric Vehicle Industries (NEVI) has said.
NEVI imported one electric closed-door bus, one open-door bus, and an electric car for testing from China. More than two dozen organisations and individuals have shown interest in operating the 14-seater closed-door bus, Managing Director of NEVI Narayan Prasad Bhusal said.
"It's a long process. The buyer has to form a committee first and then obtain membership of the Transport Entrepreneurs Association. If they recommend us to the Transport Management Office, it will set routes and issue us a permit," he said.
The buses can run for 100kms when fully charged. The batteries, which cost at least Rs 100,000, don't need to be changed for two years. The Transport Management Department says that apart from steep climbs, these buses run well on normal roads.