Nissan Leaf, Tesla EVs to replace entire Bhutanese fleet

Dec 7, 2013
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The nation of Bhutan is seriously considering replacing all of its government-owned and -run fleet vehicles and taxis with electric vehicles. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay is in ongoing discussions with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn to import Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EVs) by the handful, as well as installing charging stations throughout the grid. Tobgay has also reportedly spoken with Tesla about the same topic.

The news comes by way of a Financial Times report through Indian Autos Blog. The Bhutan story is seeing a resurgence in recent days due to a late-November Nissan report about its Leaf Vehicle-to-Building technology. V2B could feed energy into a building's power grid when other energy sources would be inefficient.

Bhutan as a nation is especially well positioned to benefit from replacing its fleet and taxis with EVs, for a number of reasons. The nation's 120,000 742,000 residents tend to rely on taxis for everyday transport. The average taxi driver there spends about 800 ngultrum -- $13 USD -- a day on gasoline. If the taxis are replaced with Leaf EVs, the daily energy cost per taxi could drop to about 10 ngultrum a day. Sixteen cents. (You have to spell it out to even see it.)

The nation as a whole produces a hydro power surplus, which it exports. But almost all of the proceeds are turned right back over to purchasing foreign fossil fuels. But Prime Minister Tobgay believes that with the help of EVs, Bhutan can reduce oil imports by 70%. That is a huge change, and it could substantially raise the standard of living in the small, landlocked country.

SOURCE: Indian Autos Blog


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