E-Car: While the effort of the government has been to reduce pollution as much as possible, going electric in the transport sector did not progress as desired, said information and communication minister DN Dhugyel.

“It was desired to pick up in a much better way than it is today but it couldn’t happen as we anticipated,” he said.

While electric vehicles confronted quick charging issues, import of fossil fuel vehicles rose steadily.

After the lifting of restriction on vehicle imports in July 2014, 11,395 vehicles worth Nu 3B were imported in to the country, about 13 vehicles entering the country everyday.

There were 77,392 vehicles in the country in November last year Thimphu alone had 41,289.

The government plans to establish 150 quick charging stations across the country expanding the green transport sector out side urban areas.

“We’re hopeful that we’d be able to garner the support from JICA and we’ll be started these charging stations,” Lyonpo DN Dhungyel said.

Appointing the operations and maintenance contractor recently, the government has overcome the first challenge in implementing green transport, the minister said.

From the beginning the government had concerns as to who would look after the quick charging stations once built.

“It was not possible for government to do it or just give it away to private sector,” Lyonpo DN Dhungyel said.

The ministry through an open tender selected Thimphu Home Care Services to take care of the present and future quick charging stations. The contractor will be paid for operation and maintenance services rendered on monthly basis.

Japan International Cooperation Agency has helped establish four quick charging stations, two in Thimphu, one in Paro and another one at Chuzom on the Paro-Thimphu highway.

The only electric vehicle dealer in the country, Thunder Motors, has set up one such station each at Paro airport, Thimphu Centenary Farmers’ market, and its showroom.

Tshering Palden