Nepal 10 Mar 2016 00:00
"Driving it is all about confidence. Without that it is almost impossible” says Brinda, a 47 year old Nepali, and an electric powered 'Tempo' driver (rickshaw is usually called 'Tempo' in Nepal). Introduced in Nepal in the early 1990s, the electric three-wheel rickshaw is a clean alternative solution to the high polluting diesel powered tempo.
These small vehicles operate as a collective minibus, which can transport up to 12 passengers including the driver. Each tempo uses two big sets of batteries that provide Brinda with enough power for eight round trips on her 16 km circle route from Kathmandu Mall to Galfutar, a nearby town in the Kathmandu valley.
Brinda is a successful mother and business woman, working for almost 14 hours a day from 5.30 am to 7 pm. She manages to have a daily income of 30 USD. Out of that she has to pay expenses for battery recharges, drivers labor union organization fees and parking fees, a total of 7 USD per day.