A startup based in Nepal has set itself the goal of providing the country with electric motorcycles, thus helping the Himalayan nation to achieve its climate goals, clean up its toxic air, and reduce its imports of petrol.
“We need to switch to electric vehicles,” says Ashim Pandey, founder of the Yatri Motorcycles startup. “It is only a matter of time when battery technology surpasses the energy density hurdle to make internal combustion engines obsolete.”
Set up in 2017, Yatri – which means “traveler” in Nepali – is designing, engineering, and manufacturing its e-motorbikes entirely in Nepal. Being the most popular form of transportation – motorbikes account for 80% of Nepal’s registered vehicles – the electric version could help reduce the number of petrol-fueled two-wheelers. According to Climate Action Tracker, only 1% of all vehicles circulating in Nepal are electric, even though the country pledged to have 20% of them by 2020. The company starts with the objective of selling 200 units of its affordable model of e-motorbikes by the end of 2021 but intends to expand its activities to e-vans and e-buses by the end of the decade.