25 April 2005

First Four Wheeler Electric Bus fleet in Nepal - CC-1Kathmandu, April 25, 2005. Hon Dr Shankar Sharma, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, inaugurated the first four-wheeler electric bus fleet in Nepal, a project partly funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme. During his speech at the ceremony, Dr Sharma highlighted the importance of cleaner transport and the role of the private sector in making cleaner and cheaper public transport accessible. Also speaking on the occasion, Mr Matthew Kahane, Resident Representative of UNDP Nepal, emphasized how small scale support can make a big difference, provided it is done with commitment, referring to the example of Electric Vehicle and the support of the SGP.

As a part of the ceremony, distinguished guests were given the opportunity to participate in the test-ride of the three new electric vehicles. The vehicles are charged during the night for about 4-6 hours and can be run throughout the day with a maximum speed of 50 km/hr. The occasion was used to sign a memorandum of agreement between the Himalayan Light Foundation, the SGP grantee involved in the project, and the Nepal Electric Vehicle Charging Association (NEVCA) to run one of the buses, which is to be used to haul passengers on the route between Thamel, a tourist center, and the airport.

First Four Wheeler Electric Bus fleet in Nepal - CC-2The electro Bus project is a collaborative effort implemented by Himalayan Light Foundation. The initial support for this project is done by British Embassy Climate Change Fund (US$ 158,140) and technical cooperation from Swiss Development Co-operation (US$21,744). UNDP Nepal also funded US$ 15,000 through track fund to SGP's US$ 33,000 grant for this project. This is also the first and only project of SGP Nepal in the sector of promoting environmentally sustainable transport (operational programme 11 of the GEF

First Four Wheeler Electric Bus fleet in Nepal - CC-3 First Four Wheeler Electric Bus fleet in Nepal - CC-4