Whither electric vehicles?
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Whither electric vehicles? book
In 1986, after a sojourn of six years in the United States, I returned to Nepal for a brief visit. It was wintertime, and the fresh clean air was so refreshing that I had to ask myself what I was doing living in America. I resolved to return to Nepal more often and, over the next few years, I noticed that breathing the air of my home country was no longer as pleasant as it had been. Indeed, the air quality in the Kathmandu Valley quickly became as bad – worse, even – as the worst that the States could offer. Then, in 1989, India blockaded Nepal, Nepal having done something – an arms deal with China – of which it did not approve. Nepal, at that time, was totally dependent on India for petroleum products, and the embargo soon began to hurt. Stockpiles within Nepal were quickly depleted and there were soon long queues for kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petrol and diesel. Traffic was grinding to a halt and households across the country were finding it ever more difficult to cook their food. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and a group of engineers, together with a local financier, set about developing a four-wheel electric vehicle that would be able to run on the hydroelectricity that is generated entirely within Nepal.