Government to send back faulty electric busesThe government has decided to send back the electric buses that it had purchased for the Lumbini Development Trust after a host of technical issues were reported on these vehicles.
The government has decided to send back the electric buses that it had purchased for the Lumbini Development Trust after a host of technical issues were reported on these vehicles.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had imported five e-buses from Chinese automaker BYD Auto two months ago. They were meant for ferrying visitors from the Bhairahawa International Airport to various tourist sites in Lumbini.
Now, the ministry has decided to send these vehicles for replacement, saying that the BYD had supplied sub-standard vehicles.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, told the Post that the automaker has been apprised about the shortcomings in the recently purchased vehicles and asked for replacement.
“The technical committee has come across a number of issues in these buses. The vehicles were different than the original specifications mentioned in the contract. We have asked the supplier to replace these vehicles,” Upadhyaya said.
The ministry had formed a five-member technical committee to assess the buses.
In its report, the committee had found 17 issues in the buses. According to the committee report obtained by the Post, the curb weight of all five vehicles was less than the specified weight of 7,465kg.
Likewise, the cruising range of two of the vehicles were less than 200km, which the BYD has denied saying the decreased cruising range was due to the effect of driving behaviour not because of technical defect.
The report also said the vehicles were fully air-conditioned and the country of manufacture of some buses was mentioned as India.
Problems were also seen in suspension door, lights, seat belts, seat fabrics and wheelchair lift of these vehicles, the report stated.
Following the findings of the committee, the BYD had issued a clarification based on the letter sent by the ministry on December 12.
“We had sought supplier’s response which was not satisfactory. So we have asked them to replace these vehicles,” Upadhyaya said.
The BYD has reservation over how the vehicles were tested.
“We have sent our clarification regarding all the issues. While there is a clause of resolving any such dispute through negotiations in the contract, they have haphazardly moved ahead with the decision of sending back the vehicles,” said Yampoo Shrestha, director of CIMEX Inc. Pvt Ltd, the authorised distributor of BYD vehicles in Nepal. “They have not given enough time even to defend us. We want these vehicles to be tested again with mechanical experts from both sides.”
The government and the BYD had an agreement to buy five 20-seater buses and 11 seven-seater buses.
The 20-seater buses have arrived whereas remaining buses with seven seats are yet to come.