Considering the CDM benefit analysis, environmental friendliness of e-car comes under the scrutiny

E-cars: While the issue is already under the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) scanner, findings from a study seems to have whitewashed the underlying intentions of promoting electric vehicles-zero emission and curbing the fuel imports.

Although the country has cheap and clean source of energy, most of the upcoming hydropower projects are lobbying for clean development mechanism (CDM).

In case of the first CDM project, the 126MW Dagachhu, the project design document for CDM benefit states that for every one unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity exported to India, around 1kg of carbon would be reduced from neighboring states of India.

The basis was that if Bhutan did not export electricity to neighboring Indian states, India would resort to dirty energy generation from coal and fuel.

The case in point is that, when Nissan leaf for instance uses 21.3 units of electricity to fully charge the car that could run 117Km, roughly 0.182 units of electricity is consumed per kilometer.

So, diverting even a small amount of electricity export for domestic consumption would come at a cost of carbon emission in India. And pollution has no boundaries.

Taking into account the Dagachhu CDM benefit, about 0.183 kgs of carbon is indirectly being emitted in the region in charging one Nissan leaf.

On the contrary, similar calculations on conventional car reveal that a Maruti Alto with a mileage of about 18km per litre would emit about 0.121 kg of carbon a kilometer, indicating that conventional cars are more beneficial to the environment in terms of carbon emission, hypothetically.

The calculations were based on carbon emission from petrol as per the CDM data published by the United Nations.

With regards to financial benefit of curbing the currency outflow, it is found that purchasing a combustion car worth Nu 500,000 would save around the same amount over a 10-year time.

For instance, a new Leaf costs around 1.4M and the difference in capital cost comes to around Nu 900,000. At the current price of petrol, assuming the a fuel car runs about 30 km a day with mileage of about 15 km a litre, fuel bill over 10 year would amount to more than Nu 420,000.

Considering the same mileage for Leaf, the electricity bill would come to about Nu 26,000 in 10 years, which means, total investment in electric car over 10 years would amount to Nu 1.426M while the conventional car would amount to Nu 922,467.

Assuming the maintenance cost of about Nu 200,000 for the fuel car and zero for electric car, the difference is still about Nu 300,000.

By Tshering Dorji