30 Sep 2018, 16:33
  • Rose-Anne
    Rose-Anne Clermont is an award-winning freelance journalist writing on migration and environmentalism. Her work has been published by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung, Die Zeit, and U.S.-based media including The New York Times, NPR and USA Today. Rose-Anne is currently a freelance editor and trainer for media development projects focused on environmental conservation in East Africa.
  • Martha
    Martha managed the CLEW Journalism Network until February 2020. She developed network strategies and activities for energy reporters across the globe and helped launch the network platform in 2018. Prior to that, she was a correspondent at Index on Censorship, and also worked as policy researcher at a non-profit start-up.

Electric vehicles in India and Nepal

A Mahindra e20 parked in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A Mahindra e20 parked in Kathmandu, Nepal. Source: Wayne Worden.
With India's 30% target for electric cars by 2030 and its Northern neighbour Nepal offering seemingly perfect conditions for e-vehicles, two journalists from both countries decided to look very closely at what's happening in the sector. With their stories now published, you can follow the journalists tracking e-vehicles across the border between the two countries, and read what their key take-aways from working together were.

After the team presented their story pitch at the Global Energy Transition Journalism conference 2017 on 10 November 2017, the journalists undertook seven months of research. The final story came out in The Hindu Business Line on 10 August 2018. Find links to all articles supported by the grant below.

Rose-Anne asked Twesh Mishra from The Hindu Business Line and Abhaya Raj Josh from Online Khabar, what it was like to work together on this story:

How were you able to connect to each other to collaborate on this article?

During the first phase of our project, we reviewed stories and articles written on the issue we were dealing with in both countries. We created a database of such articles and highlighted important parts that could come in handy during the project. We used Google docs to do this. We talked to each other over Whatsapp during the weekends to plan for the week as well as to communicate whenever we found out something new when we were out interviewing our sources.

"Accessing confidential documents was tough. But luck was on our side."

Twesh Mishra

Did you come across difficulties reporting on the border?

Yes, reporting on the border was not easy. Nepal and India share an open border and thousands of people cross it every day. Security personnel are always on alert and filming or taking photos raises suspicion. The customs officials on both sides of the border were reluctant to speak. The whole customs clearance process was not transparent. Accessing confidential documents was tough. But luck was on our side.


What would you do differently, after having this experience?

What was the most important thing you learned? We would have liked to get more input from official sources in India and Nepal. But most of them would only speak off the record. The most important thing we learned in this experience was that a cross-border approach to a story broadens our knowledge and improves our understanding of regional issues. If working on an Indian- Nepalese project was so illuminating, we can only imagine what would happen if we collaborated with more journalists.

Articles by Abhaya and Twesh

Abhaya's stories

Twesh's stories

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee