The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan is rich in renewable resources, especially hydro-electric power.

Bhutan goes electric with Nissan's help

The Kingdom of Bhutan has partnered with car-manufacturer Nissan to help the country become completely emission-free.

The agreement signed between Nissan and Bhutan’s government will see the world’s leader in electric vehicles supply its popular LEAF cars to the country in order to, at first, make the governmental car fleet fully electric, followed by the taxis.

"The Royal Government of Bhutan is pleased to launch this partnership with Nissan as we work to achieve our vision of a leading global EV nation," said Tshering Tobgay, Bhutan's Prime Minister. "Nissan's global experience will be invaluable as we make progress towards an electrified national transport infrastructure."

Bhutan wants the capital Thimphu to become completely emission-free, with all the transportation of its 100,000 citizens to be powered by clean energy.

Apart from supplying the vehicles, Nissan will also roll out demonstration units and quick chargers, to lay the basis for the necessary infrastructure. Feasibility studies for further technical cooperation are included in the details of the agreement.

"As the world's leader in zero emissions and the maker of the best-selling electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, we believe in and will support Bhutan's breakthrough vision of its future transportation," said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. "We will also use the opportunity of supplying the Nissan LEAF and our quick chargers to Bhutan to demonstrate how our electric vehicle business can be scaled in emerging markets that are rich in clean-energy."

Located in the Himalayas, Bhutan generates a sufficient amount of hydro-electricity not only to cover its own needs but also to make clean energy its major export commodity. However, it is importing fossil fuels to run its current vehicle fleet. Switching to electric vehicles would therefore help Bhutan significantly reduce its oil imports.

The Royal Government of Bhutan will study implementation of an exemption from the green tax, sales tax and custom duty for electric vehicles (EV) as well as a carbon credit scheme where the sale of EVs will earn credits that can be traded for tax exemptions for imported internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

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