This startup in Nepal aims to propel country's electrification goals
Nepal's startup Yatri Motorcycles is on a mission to push the Himalayan nation's automotive scene towards electrification. It believes that it can help to clean up the country's toxic air, reduce petrol imports, save money and also help Nepal with its climate goals.
Established in 2017, Yatri Motorcycles plans to design, engineer and manufacture world-class electric vehicles from the ground up in Nepal.
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Ashim Pandey, founder of Yatri, told Reuters recently that the switch to electric vehicles is crucial for the country. “It is only a matter of time when battery technology surpasses the energy density hurdle to make internal combustion engines obsolete," he said.
Pandey also developed Project Zero, a top-end motorbike, in 2019. It comprises a digital dashboard, in-built 4G connectivity with a range of 240 km and a keyless start. It has a maximum speed of 140 kmph and can be recharged in two hours.
Following this, the EV startup also launched a more affordable model, Project One, for 500,000 Nepalese rupees. The report says it received 50 orders within a week. Yatri founder shares that once the company start producing these EVs at a larger scale, the initial will come down. “We are well on track to meeting our 200 unit sales milestones for 2021," he says.
Motorcycles are one of the key modes of transportation in the country as it constitutes up to 80% of Nepal's registered vehicles, shows government data. The country's government has set out plans to transition to e-vehicles through reduced taxes and customs duties on imports and the installation of more charging stations. As per the Electric Vehicle Association of Nepal, the nation currently has about 700 electric cars, 5,000 electric scooters, and 40,000 electric rickshaws.
(With inputs from Reuters)