Electric car in town

Draped in a khada, the tiny electric car silently glides past the memorial chorten, turning heads and eliciting smiles.

“I’d prefer to drive this car,” said Sonam Tshering, as he lets a gigantic Prado roar past, “but, with it’s initial high cost and limited range, it has to be used in the city.”

Although the car is more expensive than a Maruti Alto at Nu 345,000, its operating cost is tiny in comparison: 80 chettrums for every kilometre. In the Maruti Alto, it’s about Nu 6/km.

Sonam, an engineer with the department of energy, which has purchased two of these tiny electric cars, says, “One worry was how they’ll perform in our demanding terrain.” He said three days of tests had proven it was “feasible”.

The department of energy will be using these cars for official purposes within the capital. “It reduces dependency on petroleum fuels, and secures our energy demands in the long run,” said Sonam, on why the department of energy had purchased these cars.

As Sonam returns the electric car to the department, another DOE official is waiting to take it out for a spin. As he eagerly turns the key, the only indication the car had started is an indicator blinking.

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