Report on the expert meetings and training for Bhutanese transport officials on electric mobility in Austria

Published on September 23, 2022

Report on the expert meetings and training for Bhutanese transport officials on electric mobility in Austria

Report on the expert meetings and training on electric mobility for Bhutanese transport officials in Austria from 5th to 8th September 2022

From 5th to 8th September 2022, a Bhutanese delegation participated in an expert group meeting and training organized by UNIDO in Austria. The overall objective was to strengthen the capacities of the transport experts on sustainable urban mobility solutions by visiting various bus operators and demonstration sites in Vienna, Lower Austria and Styria. When it comes to electric mobility, Austria and Bhutan share common features due to their mountainous character and availability of hydropower resources. Vienna is one of the leading European cities in are a of sustainable public transport and has adopted ambitious goals to become a climate-neutral city.

The visits took place in the context of the ongoing installation works for the first e-bus and charging infrastructure in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The bus pilot is part of the project “Promoting green electric mobility solutions for urban transport in Bhutan and the wider Hindu Kush Himalaya”, which is being implemented by UNIDO in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Thimphu City Council and City Bus Service (CBS) and funding of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMeiA). The e-bus will be an important reference project for future replication in Bhutan and the Hindu Kush Himalaya region.

It contributes to the 2040 Bhutan Integrated Strategic Transport Vision and the efforts of the Government to switch to a low-carbon intelligent transport system. The sector faces multiple challenges, as it is a cause for rapidly growing air pollution and GHG emissions, and is characterized by fossil fuel import dependence and price fluctuations. The availability of low-cost hydropower base-load capacities makes the country an interesting place to pioneer the electrification of the transport system. In this context, UNIDO has supported the counterparts in the development of the Bhutan E-Mobility Roadmap 2020 to 2035 and the 2040 Thimphu Transport Vision of CBS, which includes concrete steps to integrate electric mobility solutions.

The Bhutanese visit took place in conjunction with the 5th Steering Committee of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC), organized by UNIDO  between 5th and 8th September 2022 at the Vienna International Centre. Various centers are currently launching regional e-mobility programs. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Himalaya Hindukush (REEECH), hosted by ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal, will disseminated the Bhutanese lessons learned within the region.

Further information is available in the detailed report below.