An initiative to promote Indian electric vehicles in Bhutan

The Bhutanese electric car dealers at the virtual meet with Indian car manufactures on 19 November

SONAM PENJOR

Thimphu

To promote Indian electric vehicles (EVs) in Bhutan including two-wheelers, midsized passenger EVs, buses, and trucks, the Embassy of India in Bhutan organized a virtual buyer-seller meet between Indian exporters or manufacturers and Bhutanese importers on 18 November.

The scheme was initiated under the ambit of India@75 ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.

Embassy sources said the program was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India (GoI); the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI); the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM); and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI).

Given that there is an increasing demand for electric vehicles in Bhutan, as well as keeping in mind the target to ensure 50 percent of vehicle fleet in the country is converted to clean and eco-friendly technology by 2030, the Indian Ambassador, Ruchira Kamboj said that this virtual meet was aimed at expanding the presence of Indian-manufactured electric vehicles in Bhutan.

Given India’s own growing capacities on this front and Bhutan’s efforts to “go electric”, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj stated that there was a clear case for synergy and collaboration between the two countries on this front.

From the Indian side, Anand Kumar Singh, Director of India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries, presented an outline of the government’s policies to adopt and manufacture hybrid and electric vehicles in India.

Sushant Naik, Co-Chairman, FICCI Electric Vehicle Committee and Global Head (Government & Public Affairs), Tata Motors Ltd. and Dr S. Jabez Dhinagar, Co-Chairman, SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) E-Mobility Group and Senior Vice President (Engineering), TVS Motor Company Ltd. highlighted the opportunities for export of Indian manufactured electric vehicles to Bhutan.

The President of BCCI, Tandin Wangchuk, provided insights from the business and commercial perspectives as well as policies with regard to electric vehicle mobility.

He said that the mobility supported and driven by the clean energy and electricity for us is the call of decades, and the nation.

An official from the EV project said, “We are receiving Indian made EV and I am hopeful that Indian made EV will comprise significant functional of EV that are coming into our roads.”

To encourage the sales of Indian EVs in the country, an official informed the gathering that electricity charges is free of cost and that 70 percent of the loans is being provided collateral free through a group guarantee scheme.

He also informed the gathering that 20 percent of the total vehicle cost is being provided as subsidy by the government.

However, while introducing EVs in the country challenges remain. “With regards to charging stations, there is a problem of malfunctioning of charging stations in the country. We are learning from the job and addressing the issues on charging stations in daily basis.”

Meanwhile, irrespective of the type of vehicle, an official said that the import of Evs will be totally tax free.

“From the government’s side, we are creating a conducive environment. We are hopeful that through our engagement with our Indian counterpart the number EVs on the road will definitely increase in the coming year,” he said.