Kathmandu, Feb. 23: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is in the final stage to fix about 50 locations in major highways across the country to install charging stations for the electric vehicles. It plans to establish charging stations in every 200–300 km. Each station will have 142 kw DC fast charger facility that can charge all the electric vehicles available in Nepal, said the power authority. Cars and small utility vehicles can be charged within one hour while larger vehicles like bus will take double time. These stations will run on automated machines and the users can pay the charge via their mobile phones as well. They will be controlled via central server at the NEA and if there is any problem in vehicle charging, it would be notified at the server’s dashboard so that necessary actions could be taken. Every station will have one charger initially which can charge three vehicles at a time. It will not have a feature to charge motorbikes. However, if there is a demand, some plugs can be added to charge the bikes. Electric bike users generally charge their bikes at home and there is no demand for the same till now. In order to ensure smooth and reliable power supply for the quality service, the NEA is planning to expand dedicated power system – transformers, line and protection - up to every charging station. The Rs. 550 million project is in the tender process and the work will start in the near future. NEA plans to complete the setup of all the stations in 34 months while the first lot of the facilities will be ready in some months from now, said the power monopoly in the country. Final feasibility will be concluded in a couple of days and agreement will be signed with the developer within one-and-a-half months. There are 600 electric cars in the country and according to the industry estimates additional 1200 will be added this year. Hyundai, Kia, Mahindra and BYD are the leaders in the electric four-wheel segment in Nepal. Chair of the Industry Committee at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Anjan Shrestha said that the market of electric vehicles was growing. However, the government has not sought any suggestions from the private sector regarding the charging stations. While the NEA says that the private sector might shy away from establishing the charging stations due to no guarantee of return, Shrestha said that the country needed a separate policy for the charging. Shrestha’s company Laxmi Intercontinental that sells Hyundai’s electric car Kona is installing charging stations for its customers on its own. “We have installed 20-21 charging stations so far. Our customers are charging their cars at their home, but we want to extend the service across the country,” he said. He said that the NEA should study about the multi-port charging stations and vehicles available in the Nepali market, and make a policy to give commission for the private sector charging stations. Sundar Yatayat has also installed two charging stations in Kathmandu and is paying Rs. 10.5 per unit to the NEA. Meanwhile, the power authority has set different prices for the public and private vehicles. The rates vary from Rs. 4.45 to Rs. 11.70 according to the time of charging. Higher rates will be charged during the peak hours in the evening and lower rates are set for the night.