Japan, UNDP support 8 EV charging stations
July 30, 2023
30 July 2023: The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Lyonpo Dorji Tshering, Japanese Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura, Japanese Ambassador to Bhutan Hiroshi Suzuki and UNDP Resident Representative Mohammad Younus inaugurated the Electric Vehicle Charging Station at Dangrina in Dechencholing, Thimphu.
The charging station is one of the eight DC or quick charging stations installed as part of an EV project led by the Prime Minister’s Office in partnership with the Government of Japan and UNDP. The project will also install eight AC or slow chargers.
Titled "Leveraging Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions and Climate Resilient Development, in Response to the Climate Emergency", the $ 1.1 million project is aimed at accelerating Bhutan’s transition to low-emission transport system.
Of the eight charging stations, six are in Thimphu and the other two in Zhemgang and Trashigang. These additional charging stations will help address concerns around limited number of charging stations, which has been one of the hurdles on the path to clean transport in Bhutan.
Besides supporting charging stations, the project provided 19 EVs to the government. It also trained 50 engineers from the Bhutan Power Corporation in charging station maintenance. In collaboration with the Technical Training Institute in Samthang, Wangdue Phodrang, 20 Motor Transport Officials from the government were equipped with skills and knowledge to handle EVs and hybrid cars safely and effectively. Over 140 EV taxi drivers underwent EV induction course.
The project also helped build capacity of transport officials in EV policy making and business models, recycling and repurposing EV batteries and building charging infrastructure. In partnership with the De-suung Skilling Programme, the project engaged 20 skilled Desuups in the development of charging sites.
“Bhutan greatly appreciates the support received from the Government of Japan and UNDP. We added 19 EVs to the government fleet and installed eight EV quick charging stations through the project,” said the Project Management Unit with the Prime Minister’s Office.
“These have not only enhanced the existing charging network in the country, but undoubtedly helped boost public confidence in EV across the country. Such support and initiatives are critical to our effort to electrify the transport sector and sustain Bhutan’s commitment to stay carbon neutral for all time.”
Japan’s Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura is the first cabinet minister to visit Bhutan post COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at the inauguration, Minister Nishimura thanked the Government of Bhutan and UNDP for the partnership and reiterated Japan’s continued support towards Bhutan’s sustainable development.
“The introduction of the EVs not only contributes to the decarbonization of the transport sector but can also serve as a standalone distributed energy system that can supply power during the time of disasters because the batteries can be reused. Therefore, introducing EVs is an important initiative,” said Minister Nishumura said.
Ambassador Hiroshi Suzuki said the Japanese has revised its development cooperation charter. “Based on the new charter, Japan stands ready to continue partnering with the Kingdom of Bhutan on its development path as it graduates from the Least Developed Countries status.”
UNDP Resident Representative Mohammad Younus thanked the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of Japan for the partnership. “This Bhutan-Japan-UNDP partnership has contributed significantly towards strengthening the EV ecosystem in the country,” he said.
“It is imperative that we keep the EV momentum alive. UNDP remains committed to providing the support needed at speed and scale as Bhutan strives to transition to zero-emission mobility by 2050.”
The replacement of old government pool vehicles with EVs has yielded remarkable environmental and economic benefits. The adoption of 19 EVs is set to offset 35.88 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. It has also resulted in substantial fuel and maintenance costs savings.
The project builds on the “Bhutan Sustainable Low-Emission Urban Transport System” project supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP, which helped 291 taxi drivers switch to EVs and build 28 charging stations in six districts.
Mr. Tshering Dendup, Project Manager, Project Management Unit, Bhutan Sustainable Low-Emission Urban Transport System, Prime Minister’s Office, Mobile: +975 1781 9388, Email: email@example.com
Ms. Dechen Wangmo, Communications Analyst, UNDP Bhutan, Mobile: +975 1734 3086, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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