With the number of electricity-run vehicles like easy-bikes and electric cars increasing gradually in the country, the government has decided to bring those under regulation.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has prepared draft guidelines in this regard and sent the draft to the road transport and bridges ministry for approval, officials said.
As per the draft guidelines, each electric vehicle has to obtain registration, fitness certificate and route permit like those required for an engine-run vehicle.
The government will fix the lifetime and fares of electric hire vehicles.
As per the draft, an electric vehicle means it is run by electric power stored in a rechargeable battery. However, battery-run rickshaws and bicycles will not come under the purview of the guidelines.
Talking to The Daily Star on Thursday, Mahbub-E-Rabbani, head of the draft formulation committee, said the number of electric vehicles was increasing gradually in the country.
“So, we decided to formulate the guidelines to bring them under regulation,” said Rabbani, also director (road safety) of BRTA.
“Electricity-run vehicles are environmentally friendly. So we want to expand the use of such vehicles. On the other hand, we want to control the use of easy-bikes which are of low quality.”
He said they sent the draft, titled “Electric Vehicle Registration and Operation Guidelines-2018”, to the road transport and bridges ministry on November 25. The ministry will hold an inter-ministerial meeting before its approval.
Although a very few electric cars have been operating in the country now, around 10 lakh battery-run easy-bikes are plying the streets, said people involved in the transport sector.
The Road Transport and Highways Division had taken the initiative to formulate the guidelines after receiving applications from some individuals for registration of electric cars, an official of the division said, wishing anonymity.
On April 30, the division wrote to the BRTA to take necessary measures for preparing the guidelines to allow registration of such vehicles, he added.
Following the directives, the BRTA formed a committee, comprising of its officials and experts from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), to formulate the guidelines. The committee finalised the draft after holding several meetings.
Kazi Md Shifun Newaz, assistant professor of Buet's Accident Research Institute and also a member of the committee, said regulations or guidelines were required to keep the operation of electricit vehicles under control.
The guidelines were required to ensure road safety as risk of accidents would increase if the number of easy-bikes went up, he told The Daily Star on Thursday.
Prof Md Ehsan of the Buet's mechanical engineering department said only 1 percent of the total vehicles in the world are electric vehicles and the number of such vehicles is very low in Bangladesh.
In 2030, around 10 percent of total vehicles in the world would be electric vehicles, he added. “So, formulation of such guidelines is a good initiative.”
He said although the battery-run easy-bikes do not fall under the definition of electric vehicle, the committee decided to bring easy-bikes under the purview of the guidelines considering the huge number of such vehicles in the country.
As per the guidelines, an electric motorcycle's life will be 10 years, easy-bike's nine years and car's 20 years. Such vehicles will be granted registration under “E” or “EV” category.
Owners of the vehicles would have to follow a specific procedure to dump used batteries to avoid environmental pollution, it said.
The vehicles have to be assembled in such a way so that they remain safe in all seasons.
The guidelines say imported vehicles must be new. However, the condition can be relaxed in future by amending the guidelines.
Local manufacturers of such vehicles must have registration with the government agencies concerned.
The guidelines will remain in force for five years. However, the tenure can be extended after analysing the technical developments of electric vehicles, the draft reads.