Government procures five hybrid cars

The government has pledged that cabinet ministers will use electric or hybrid cars for local tour

The government has procured five hybrids car so far replacing the Land Cruiser Prado that the cabinet ministers drive.

Currently, the foreign minister, finance minister, health minister, Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the National Council are using the hybrid car.

According to officials from the finance ministry, each car cost around Nu 3.8mn, and were procured through the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan.

The only female minister, Dasho Dechen Wangmo was seen driving the hybrid car within Thimphu.

During press briefings with the media, Lyonpo is seen driving the hybrid car herself.

Lyonpo said that they have handed over the Prado to the Ministry of Finance. For local travel, they use the hybrid car and as pool vehicle, the Prado.

“I like the convenience of driving given the Bhutan is safe to drive. I enjoy driving myself which is more convenient.  I drive unless it concerns work outside the capital or official work,” said Lyonpo.

Lyonpo also drives when she returns home in the evening and while attending office in the morning.

Most of the time she ends up driving. “I do use the driver but I drive within Thimphu. It is just personal preference.”

Citing an example, Lyonpo said that when there is a cabinet meeting every Tuesday, earlier Lyonpo used to car pool with the foreign minister and they used to send away one driver. Now with the hybrid car they drive, otherwise the driver has to wait till the meeting ends. Instead he can spend time with his family after 5pm.

“That’s why we decided that we would drive and let them go,” said Lyonpo.

Lyonpo also mentioned that when there are activities during weekends she feels guilty taking the driver out. “He also has a family so he needs time to spend with family.”

“The car is energy-efficient, very comfortable and it is an effort towards going green. The fuel consumption is very low,” said Lyonpo.

However, Lyonpo added that she has not really maintained records of the decrease in fuel consumption. “While driving the Prado, the driver used to refuel often, but that happens rarely now.”

Lyonpo also said that they use hybrid car while travelling to Punakha, Wangdue and Paro. For long distance tours they will use pool vehicle.

The government has pledged in their 120-days pledge that cabinet ministers will use electric or hybrid cars for local tour.

One of the main benefits of a hybrid car is the greater fuel economy.

Dechen Dolker from Thimphu