The Department of Surface Transport’s initiative to install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in more than seven dzongkhags failed to meet its second deadline. This is not good news for electric vehicle users, especially taxi drivers. 

Bhutan’s move towards electric cars, a welcome change, is beset with a host of challenges that need to be addressed. One of the most significant challenges is setting up electric charging infrastructure in all the places that vehicles visit frequently. Electric charging stations are crucial for the growth of electric vehicles, and this necessity cannot be underestimated.

The electric vehicle revolution is in full swing, and with it, the need for an infrastructure that can support it. Electric cars must be charged, just like fossil fuel-powered cars, and this is exactly where charging stations come in. The reality is that even in developed countries, where electric cars are mostly manufactured, charging infrastructure continues to be a major problem.

It is necessary to establish a network of electric charging everywhere, especially in urban areas, residential neighbourhoods, and parking lots of commercial buildings so that electric vehicle owners can keep their vehicles charged and ready to go.

Without an adequate number of charging stations, the hassle and inconvenience of charging a car will discourage many from buying electric vehicles. This will throw off the whole electric vehicle ecosystem, which could lead to, just as we begin, quick slowdown in the usage of electric vehicles.

Making charging stations accessible to all is key to the success of electric cars and the transition towards sustainable mobility and reducing carbon emissions.

The so-called experts tell us that the adoption of electric vehicles is sure to result in improved air quality and a decrease in carbon footprint. But there are those who are very sceptical. Even so, without a proper infrastructure in place, the benefits of electric vehicles cannot be fully realised. The availability of charging stations can be a significant factor in promoting electric vehicle usage, as it makes them more accessible and convenient for the average car owner.

The lead must, therefore, begin from the top if Bhutan is to make a significant mark in environment conservation and reduction of carbon footprint. Every government-numbered vehicle should be an EV; only then there will be sufficient and better quality charging stations in the country.

Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for businesses to establish electric charging stations, which can provide a ready source of revenue. For example, by installing charging stations in commercial premises, businesses can attract customers who may need to charge their electric cars while they shop or attend an event.

Governments and businesses must invest in building the necessary infrastructure to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle charging. Only doing so will help promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, which will create a cleaner, more sustainable future for us all.