Yangyel Lhaden

Those driving electric vehicles can now travel across Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Chukha, and Haa without any trouble. They can now plug into the 11 fast chargers and 10 semi-fast chargers that became operational in these dzongkhags yesterday.

A small inauguration ceremony was held for the public charging station in Thimphu, yesterday.

A fast charger can fully charge a car between 30 minutes and an hour. The semi-fast charger takes between two and three hours.  A charging station can charge two cars at a time.

The project will install 15 fast chargers and 10 semi-fast chargers in 14 locations across six dzongkhags. However, two charging stations each in Paro and Phuentsholing are incomplete.

Information and Communications Minister, Karma Donnen Wangdi, said due to the pandemic in Phuentsholing and difficulty in sourcing electrical components from Kolkata, four charging stations couldn’t be completed. “However, we expect to resume the remaining work soon.”

Project Manager Phub Gyeltshen said that as people preferred to buy different brands of electric vehicles a customised charging station was required. “In CHAdeMO only Japanese electric vehicles can be charged and CCS is compatible with a certain brand of an electric vehicle.”

However, he said, electric vehicles could be charged at home.

In Thimphu, two charging stations are installed in Changlingmithang, one each in the vicinity of Lungtenzampa and Jigme Namgyal LSS, and Centenary Farmers’ Market. A charging station each is set up in Haa town, Bajo, Khuruthang, and Gedu. In Paro, one charging station is installed in old taxi parking.

Two charging stations in a multi-level car parking building and another in the parking lot near the new lower market in Phuentsholing, one near Tamchog Lhakhang near the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s toilet, and one at Paro International Airport are yet to be completed.

Ten semi-fast chargers are distributed among the 11 locations based on priority.  Two semi-fast charger are installed in Changlingmithang taxi parking, one each near Revenue and Customs office in Thimphu, Centenary Farmers’ market, vicinity of Jigme Namgyal Lower Secondary School and Lungtenzampa, Paro old taxi parking, Punakha, Wangduephodrang, and Haa.

Phub Gyeltshen said that it was equally important to install charging stations in other dzongkhags. He said Nu 69 million for charging stations is an approved activity under the 12th Five year Plan. “ The amount is approved in principle.”

Edited by Tshering Palden