Lekey Zangmo 

Electric taxi drivers in Thimphu complain that they are losing business waiting for more than an hour to charge their cars.

They said that every time they have to wait in queue for their turn to recharge while the drivers of fossil-fuel-driven taxis take away their potential passengers.

“Waiting for our turn to charge is exhausting,” a taxi driver charging his taxi at Lungtenzampa said. “To make matters worse, misunderstandings among the drivers lead to fights.”  Since there are only a limited number of charging stations, there is a rush for space that leads to quarrels among the drivers.

Another problem faced by the drivers is the location of the charging stations. The charging points in already-crowded areas cause traffic congestion.

Another driver said that a few of the charging points do not work leading to longer queues and a bigger rush in the other stations.

They claimed that they have requested the authorities concerned to solve the issues, but the services are being delayed.

Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC), Bhutan Taxi Association and other relevant agencies look after the EV projects.

An official from BPC said, “We are responsible to look after the maintenance of the charging stations and the electrical issues, which we do on time.”  The official said that they do not have the authority to add or reduce the number of chargers, nor change the location of those charging stations.

According to Bhutan Taxi Association, they have been getting complaints from the drivers.  A representative from the association said, “There is no particular office responsible for the charging stations. This has led to the problems.”

The responsibility has been shared by all but not given to one, thus delaying the maintenance and services, he said.

The taxi drivers in the city said that there should be more charging stations in different locations.

There are more than 200 electric vehicles in the country as of now. Charging stations for electric vehicles are available in only six dzongkhags.