Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let’s support TMEV

The REVA electric car which has been introduced in Bhutan since 2009 didn’t attract us. Though eco-friendly and enables zero emission driving, there are many challenges associated with EVs. This car can run only 80 km for a battery, a normal charge takes 8 hours, and its maximum speed is 80 km/h. That’s why people still prefer conventional combustion-engine vehicles. 
A new Hope: A new hope is born as the Thunder Motors Electric Vehicles (TMEV), a Bhutanese based company will be launching its first batch of electric cars (half and full body cars, SUVs) by the end of this October. Price will range from Nu 400,000 to Nu 1.4 million. Interestingly, the company will also manufacture larger vehicles.

According to the Managing Director with the TMEV, the vehicles have been designed to suit Bhutanese conditions and are eco-friendly. The components of the vehicles are imported from other countries: controllers are purchased from the USA, batteries from China, and body parts from Japan and the motors from Germany. This time the vehicle is finally assembled in china; however, from next year the company is hopeful to start assembling in Bhutan. 

Battery and its durability: The fully charged vehicle will run between 200-500 KMs. It will take about six hours to charge batteries at home, while at charging stations it will take only 10 minutes. 

Reduce the country’s dependency on Indian Rupees: The introduction of eclectic cars would drastically decrease fuel dependency in the country and cut down the fuel imports by 50 %. Today the RGOB spends about Nu 5 billions on fuel import every year. 

Cost effective: An individual have to spend only Nu 35 to Nu 70 every month charging the battery. Around 40 to 80 units of electricity will be enough to last a month. 

Conversion: Interestingly the cars with combustion engines can be converted as electric cars by replacing the engines with electric motors. The conversion cost for larger vehicles range from Nu 400,000 to Nu 500,000, while smaller vehicles can get it done for Nu 100,000 to Nu 200,000. Two wheelers will cost Nu 40,000. It will take between five to 20 days for the conversion process to complete depending on the size. 

Charging stations: TMEV will build charging stations at certain locations, as the plans have already mapped out as to how the station would function. 

Challenges: Lack of awareness among the public and also at the policy making level. Bhutanese businessmen are very skeptic to invest in electric vehicles. Support from the government is very imperative in the initial three years as people are reluctant to pay for conversion.

With the availability of cheap electricity and the national policy that emphasizes on environmental conservation and the country’s dependency on Indian oil, this eco-friendly project initiated by TMEV should be supported by the people and our government. The government have to provide unwavering supports by providing financial helps and exempting it from import duties and other taxes.

References: Bhutan Times, ThimphuTech.com

1 comment:

  1. So Sir Your idea fianly into words....hope its understood sooner as it the better....:)