Nissan in Electric Vehicle Partnership with Bhutan

Now that "an electric revolution has begun in Bhutan," the company's CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said Feb. 21, "I feel good about supporting this."

Nissan has entered into an electric vehicle partnership with the Himalayan country of Bhutan that aims to make it a leading global EV nation. Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced the partnership Feb. 21, saying it will help the country achieve ambitious clean energy goals, as Ghosn presented two LEAF vehicles.

"We will develop a program," said Tobgay, a supporter of the EV project since taking office in July 2013. "We will commit to a program to achieve zero emissions as a nation by a certain target date. We cannot go on this journey ourselves. We need the world to travel with us, and what better partner than to have the Nissan LEAF help us along this journey."

Nissan will electrify the country's fleet and help the country develop its charging infrastructure. "There is a lot of courage, a lot of will, a lot of vision behind the prime minister of Bhutan's positioning on the electric car, and I feel good about supporting this," Ghosn said. "Obviously, it's within the interests of Nissan because we have our own interests here. But I think this can create a lot of other examples in the future and hopefully Bhutan can become a showcase."

According to Nissan, Bhutan is rich in renewable hydro power and currently uses only 5 percent of the clean power it produces, exporting the majority to India. "But almost all of the revenue earned from selling electricity is spent on fuel imported from India to run the nation's existing vehicles, which number some 36,000 vehicles in Thimphu alone. Reducing oil imports with this EV project will also free up finances that can be used elsewhere."