The technology powering electric vehicles (EVs) has improved significantly over the past decade, and the EV’s popularity is gradually increasing in Nepal. Not long ago, we would encounter barely a handful of EVs on our roads, and the idea of owning a car that could be charged via an outlet on the wall (like a cellphone does) to get a significant amount of range was unheard of. However, the automotive industry in Nepal is gradually experiencing a rise of number in the list of electric vehicles.
That said, the automotive market in Nepal is still disproportionately dominated by petrol-powered cars, which is followed by multiple reasons. The main barrier for consumers to opt for EVs was the heavy tax and excise duty, which now is lifted. The abolishment of the excise duty soon led a number of automotive brands to launch their EV models in Nepal. The existing EV models in Nepal saw a significant drop in prices that might turn out to be a huge encouragement for EV enthusiasts here.
The waiving of excise duty might lower EV prices, but are EVs worth buying? Well, the most obvious pull factor is that with an EV you don’t have to worry about blockades, petrol scarcity (a recurring issue for a country that is dependent on imported oil), or waiting in long lines for your turn to fill up. With an EV, however, you can conveniently charge it overnight, get it up to the full, and go zip around town the next day. As the petrol price tends to fluctuate time-to-time, electricity is essentially a cheaper option, and EVs are also less expensive to maintain. And, most importantly, more people opting for EVs might help mitigate Nepal’s pollution problem to some extent.
There are thus many benefits we can derive if the EV culture takes off here, but an EV buyer still has to account for certain limitations that come with owning an EV in Nepal. Internationally, the EV trend has gotten popular in no small part owing to the following particulars: Foreign markets offer a plethora of EV models; quite a few countries and companies have invested in developing charging infrastructure; and many brands offer prompt services for their products. In Nepal, on the other hand, you are mostly on your own. You will therefore need to ponder deeply before making the switch to an EV. As things stand now, you cannot, for example, go on long tours, but if that’s not a deal-breaker for you, and the farthest you’ll be venturing away from the city are spots like Nagarkot, Kurintar, etc, then you should give EVs a consideration.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled a list comprising some of the four-wheeler EVs available in Nepal.
South Korean carmaker Hyundai released their electric version of the Kona during the first half of 2018, and in early 2019, Laxmi Intercontinental Pvt. Ltd (the sole authorized distributor of Hyundai Motors for Nepal) launched the EV here. Both versions of the Kona were successful in bagging the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award. The Kona Electric, which has become pretty popular here, is offered in two battery versions: the 39.2 kWh version and the 64 kWh version. The former achieves a top speed of 155 km/h and up to 312 km of driving range, while the latter tops out at 167 km/h and has a range of 482 km. For safety, Kona comes equipped with a Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear-Cross Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW), and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), to name a few. For convenience, Hyundai offers the Kona with heated/ventilated seats, wireless charging, a 7″ instrument cluster, a KRELL Premium sound system, and an 8″ navigation system, among others.
The price of the Hyundai Kona in Nepal is Rs 56,96,000 for the 100 kW variant and Rs 71,96,000 for the 150 kW variant.
Laxmi Intercontinental, the authorized distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Nepal, offers the IONIQ electric vehicle here. The all-new electric premium sedan is powered by a Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM), which is good enough to generate a maximum power of 120 PS and a maximum torque of 395 Nm. The 39.2 kWh battery is capable of a range of 312 km, and the car can achieve a top speed of 165 mph. It can be charged through a household outlet and takes an average charging time of 8-10 hours. The Ioniq comes with features such as a smart electric sunroof, 7-inch LED supervision instrument cluster, 8-inch floating infotainment system, electronic gear shift button, steering mounted controls, heated and ventilated seats, automatic AC with rear AC vents, paddle shifters with regenerative brake controls, electronic parking brake with auto hold, seven airbags, ABS with ESC, hill start assist (HAC), reverse parking sensor, and reverse camera with parking guidance.
The price of the Hyundai Ioniq in Nepal is Rs 57,96,000.
MG ZS EV
This purely electric version of the ZS Compact SUV by MG was launched at the end of 2019 in Nepal. MG Motors introduced the MG ZS EV with a starting price of NPR 49.99 lakhs, making the model the most affordable all-electric compact SUV during its rollout here. The ZS EV is offered with a 44.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers 428 km of range at the speed of 60 kmph on a single charge. The battery charges up from zero to 80 percent within 30 minutes. The motor delivers 147 bhp of power and 350 Nm of maximum torque. For safety, the ZS comes with features such as six airbags, a rear parking camera, reverse parking sensors, LED DRLs, and ISOFIX (rear child fitting). The comfort and convenience of the passengers are taken care of by a panoramic sunroof, an ETC air conditioner, keyless entry & start, cruise control, and remote central-door locking, to name a few.
The price of the MG ZS EV in Nepal starts from Rs 50,99,000.
Kia Niro EV
Continental Trading Enterprises (CTE), the authorized distributor for Kia Motors in Nepal, launched the e-Niro in mid-2019. The all-electric Niro, with its competitive price point, is a rival to the popular Hyundai Kona EV. The KIA e-Niro is powered by a 64 KW battery that delivers a range of 615 km on a single charge, and it takes 54 minutes to charge from zero to 80 percent. The SUV comes with a 150KW electric motor that produces 201 hp of power and 395 Nm of torque and reaches a top speed of167 km/h. Safety features in the car include an Advanced Driver Assistance System, Blindspot Collision Warning, seven airbags, Hill-Start Assist Control, and Electronic Stability Control.
The price of the Kia Niro EV in Nepal is Rs 69,90,000.
Nissan Leaf EV
The Nissan Leaf EV, deemed the ‘Best Used Electric Car’ at the inaugural Electrifying.com Awards 2021, was virtually launched on July 8, 2021, at an introductory price of Rs 59.99 lakh. The Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle (BEV) introduced in Japan and the US in December 2010. The Nissan Leaf EV is equipped with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery producing 150 ps of peak power and peak torque of 320 Nm, and it can provide a range of 311 km, based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standards. The EV can go from zero to 100 kmph in 7.9 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of 140 kmph. As for charging, that takes 15 to 18 hours at home through a dedicated wall outlet, via the supplied universal charging cable. Owners can also avail of quick-charging stations at select Nissan dealerships nationwide; the stations can charge the car to full in just 40 to 60 minutes.
The price of the Nissan Leaf EV in Nepal starts from Rs 59,99,000.
Tata Nexon EV
The Nexon electric SUV, which has done exceedingly well in India, is powered by Tata’s cutting-edge Ziptron technology. The vehicle, which features a sinewy design, is known for its zippy performance, long-range, fast-charging capability, extended battery life, class-leading safety features and convenience of charging with its home-installed charging equipment. The Nexon EV is powered by state-of-the-art Ziptron Technology, which promises a zippy performance owing to its powerful and high-efficiency 129 PS permanent-magnet AC motor powered by a high-capacity 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor produces 245 Nm of instant torque from a standstill, enabling the Nexon EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 9.9 seconds. The EV comes with best-in-industry dust and waterproof battery pack, which meets IP67 standards. This high-density battery pack is liquid-cooled to excel in Nepali weather conditions.
The starting price of the Tata Nexon EV in Nepal is Rs 35,99,000.
2021 BYD E6
Cimex Inc. Pvt. Ltd, the official distributor of BYD vehicles in Nepal, offers two different variants of the new-generation BYD E6–the GL and GLX–and at an introductory price of Rs 60 lakh. The FWD E6 is equipped with a Blade battery (LFP) and an AC permanent magnet synchronous motor, which work together to generate a power of 94 hp and torque of 180 Nm. For the front suspension, the car uses McPherson and Multi-link for the rear. The front and rear brakes are handled by vented disc brakes. The car provides a maximum range of 520 km, and it can achieve a top speed of 130 kmph. It takes approximately 12 hours to charge the E6 via a standard household charger, but a 60 kW DC fast charger will do the work in just 1.5 hours.
The price of the 2021 BYD E6 in Nepal starts from Rs 60,00,000.
The eVerito launched as an electronic version of the Verito sedan in Nepal at the end of 2018. This EV is powered by a 3-phase 72V induction motor producing 30.5 kW of power and 91 Nm of torque. It is powered by a 200Ah Li-ion battery that can be charged at home through a regular power outlet and takes 90 minutes to juice the battery to the max. The Mahindra eVerito provides 110 km of range on a single charge. As for comfort and convenience, those are taken care of by an air-conditioner with a heater, power windows, internally adjustable ORVMS, cell-phone charging points, cup holders, etc. Safety features include a high-mount stop lamp, adjustable front and rear head restraints, childproof rear door locks, and a prismatic day and night rearview mirror.
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