If I told you to name an affordable electric car in Nepal, what would your answer be? Mahindra e2o? Kia Soul EV? Technically, Mahindra e2o is affordable which is priced at Rs. 22 Lakhs. But that isn’t the type of affordability that we’re looking for. So, when I say affordable, it’s more like if we could buy a car for the price of a motorcycle.
As you might know, Nepal is slowing embracing the era of electric vehicles. While out the chance of getting a Tesla in Nepal is still decades away, here you get the next big thing! In our society, cars are a sign of wealth and a power statement. Moreover, not everyone is fortunate enough to even drive a car, let alone own it. So, Dahe Electric Car is here to change all that nonsense.
What’s Dahe Electric? Well, it’s a brand-new electric car from a brand-new auto company called Dahe. Thee Go Group, the authorized distributors of Dahe electric cars in Nepal, has launched two variants of their electric car: DH350 and DH350L. So, the one we got to test out is called the Dahe DH350L.
Let’s begin with the exterior styling. With a single look, it looks like a Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai Santro, and Tata NRG, all mixed together as one. We even had few people mistake it for a fuel-driven car.
On the front, you have the logo. You get the blue-colored badging called Dahe. What’s so special about this logo? Well, nothing. But I did want to point out just how much it looks like a logo of Ford. I don’t know what they intend was, but it’s there.
Moving on, you get those beautiful halogen headlamps, the fog lamps, body-colored bumpers, and the black-colored front drills. They just make the car look amazing. On one side, you get premium SUV like KIA Sportage that don’t even offer fog lamps in their base variant. Even when priced well over Rs. 70 Lakhs, but Dahe just simply offers them.
Let’s move onto the side, it gets 155/65R13 stylized alloy wheels with this electric wire body graphics. However, the rear-side looks like any other car with its rear-lights, Dahe badge, rear-fog lights, and the rear bumper. Interestingly, DH350 even gets a rear-parking sensor along with a rear-camera as well.
So, how does Nepal’s most affordable electric car look? It looks damn beautiful! Currently, we are testing it for the Grey color variant which is my personal favorite. If Grey isn’t really your thing, you could opt for Red or White.
Moving into the interiors, there’s kind of a mixed bag of feelings. The exterior beautifully sets the mood where the interior fails to live up to it. There’s a lot of hard plastic all around and the quality is just decent.
Furthermore, the seating is all mushy and lacks proper support. These are simply the recipe for a backache. If your height is above 6-feet, you are bound for some discomfort. Poor seating material and claustrophobic spacing isn’t the best combination in any car.
The front seats share a similar story with the rear seats, in terms of comfort and material. But it does come better-equipped features. Moreover, the interior feels modern with the likes of standing Infotainment System, Stylized Power Steering Wheel, USB slot, power socket, small wood finish, AC vents, and controls.
The driver’s console provides you all the necessary details like driving range, battery information, among others. This gives in a more of a futuristic feel to the overall car. Furthermore, Dahe 350L come with 4-speakers, 2 on front and 2 on the rear. It doesn’t get Android Auto Play nor Apple Play. However, that isn’t a deal breaker as you do get Bluetooth Connectivity alongside FM Radio, AUX Input, and SD Card, Reader. Moreover, the sound quality, for me, is just average. You lose a bit of clarity on higher volume.
Other interesting features are the power window, Anti-Collison Bean, Remote Control Lock, and a working Reverse Camera. It also comes with ABS, which is very rare for a car at this price point. Moreover, the car also comes equipped with Hill-Assist system which can be very helpful in uphill roads.
On hindsight, Dahe’s boot space is comparatively larger than any other cars in this segment which deserves a thumbs up!
Battery & Engine
Dahe DH 350L is powered by a 72V/9.6KWh Li-Ion Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery. With a power charger, the standard charging time is just 4-5 hours. Dahe claims that you get up to a 120-150km in driving range. We tested the claim inside that Kathmandu Valley and got a range between 80-100km. That is an acceptable range for an intra-valley electric car.
So, what’s does L stand for? Well, it stands for Lithium Battery. Likewise, DH 350 uses a maintenance-free lead battery. Additionally, you get 1 Year Warranty on the Lead Battery and 3 Years on the Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery or simply Lithium Battery.
If anybody is wondering, this is Home-Charging enabled; Normal household line of 15Ampere can be used for charging. Moreover, DH 350L charges fully in just electrical 10 units! This means that it can be easily charged at the home, office, malls, and restaurants through the normal power socket like this one. Yes, it’s as simple as charging your smartphone or your laptop.
DAHE DH350 / DH350L Key Specifications
- Driving Type: RWD
- Battery: 72V/100Ah Lead-Acid (Maintenance Free) / 72V/9.6KWh Li-Ion
- Charging Time (Power Charger): 8-10hrs / 4-5hrs
- Driving Range: 100-120km / 120-150km
- Climbing Capacity: 17-18 Degrees
- Suspension: FR: Independent Suspension, RR: Integral Axle
- Ground Clearance: 160mm
- Tire: 155/65R13
- Kerb Weight: 828kg / 680 kg
Dahe DH 350 Price in Nepal: Rs. 13,90,000 (Limited Discount Offer!)
Dahe DH 350 Price in Nepal: Rs. 14,90,000 (Normal Price)
Dahe DH 350L Price in Nepal: Rs. 15,90,000 (Limited Discount Offer!)
Dahe DH 350L Price in Nepal: Rs. 17,25,000 (Normal Price)
Real World Performance
It exceeded my initial expectations. The pickup is good, providing uniform acceleration. However, the top speed is capped at 58km/h. One thing that electric cars really outdo themselves in, is the pickup. And Dahe Electric car really nails the pickup. Moreover, the brakes come with ample stopping power. And, the include ABS ensure rider’s safety.
Interestingly, this car managed to climb up the hill with FIVE of our TECHLEKH members onboard. That is really what blew my mind. With city driving in mind, the suspension could’ve been softer. But that won’t necessarily affect the overall ride quality.
I really think with solely city-driving in mind, Dahe DH 350L electric does an outstanding job.
In this never-before-heard scenario, you get the DAHE EV Electric Car with a down-payment of as low as Rs. 2.98 Lakhs. That is the average cost of a modern motorcycle. After the down-payment, you’ll be able to get financing over the time period of seven years. Moreover, you could even consider the down-payments as the price you’d normally spend on fuel and annual tax. Before I forget, you don’t have to pay anything in term of Annual Tax. That’s like the sweetest cherry on the top. So, if you are getting a choice between a car and a motorcycle, why wouldn’t you choose a car?
As for the pricing, the Dahe Electric car price in Nepal is Rs. 14,90,000 for DH 350 (Lead Acid variant) and Rs. 17,250,000 for DH 350L (Lithium variant). Plus, to spice things up, there’s an Introductory Offer with an additional discount!
|DH Model||Standard Price||Discount||Introductory Price|
|DH350||Rs. 1490000||Rs. 1 Lakh||Rs. 1390000|
|DH350L||Rs. 1725000||Rs. 1.35 Lakh||Rs.1590000|
Please remember that Dahe has advertised DH 350L and DH 350 as a City-Riding Car. Having said that, you should probably set your expectations in that way. You get all the necessary features to just do that. Cost of a car being what it is, you get a similar riding experience at much affordable price. Since every one of us is a hard-working commuter in the city, why don’t you use a car to ease things over?
The question still remains, should I buy DAHE Electric car in Nepal. The short answer, yes. Let’s take a quick dive into the operational costs. Electric Vehicles have very low operation and maintenance cost. Since, Dahe EV in an electric vehicle, those perks apply to it as well. Furthermore, comparing it with a fuel-driven motorcycle, the operation cost is almost the same. It means that the amount that you spend operating an average motorcycle (service, fuel, etc.) can be used to get your first electric car.
Perhaps the greatest perk of them all, NO ANNUAL TAX! Yes, you heard it right. You don’t have to pay a pesky dime in annual tax. That is the figurative cherry on the top!