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Even Bhutan working on a Nissan Leaf taxi fleet – AutoblogGreen

The nation of Bhutan wants its capital city Thimphu to become an electric vehicle hotspot. “We are confident that electric vehicles can take off here,” said Tshering Tobgay, prime minister of the Himalayan kingdom bordered by China and India. The first challenge is getting the EVs shipped there, but the first ones could soon be on the way.

While the capital only has 120,000 people, 2,000 EVs could soon be on its streets.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has taken Bhutan seriously enough to visit there recently. Ghosn met with Tobgay in the capital city for talks on the supply ofNissan Leaf EVs and the necessary battery charging systems. While the city only has a population of 120,000 people, Tobgay would like to see 2,000 EVs on its streets. It may very well work – electricity is cheap in Bhutan, most of the road trips taken are short and residents already depend on a fleet of 3,500 small taxis. Taxi drivers are spending about 800 ngultrum ($13) a day on fuel, while recharging an EV would cost 10 ngultrum or less, government officials say.

EVs could solve today’s vicious circle. Bhutan’s electricity comes from hydroelectric plants and there’s enough produced to export some to India. The problem has been that proceeds from the clean energy exports are typically used to import dirty fossil fuels for transportation. Bhutan is famous for championing what it calls “gross national happiness” (GNH), and EVs would play well into its environmental sustainability goals, considered an important part of the GNH philosophy.


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