Pakistan’s First EV Policy 2020
On 6th November 2019, The federal cabinet approved the first-ever National Electric Vehicles (EV) policy in a bid to tackle effects of climate change and offer affordable transport to the people.
According to the policy, 100,000 cars and 500,000 bikes and rickshaws will be converted to EV’s in the next 4 years.
In the next phase, the government will focus on converting the 30 per cent of the total number of vehicles, including cars bikes and rickshaws, into EV’s by 2030. And it is proposed more than 3,000 CNG stations that have been shut down due to gas shortage will be converted to EV charging stations. It is also planned to set up Special Economic Zones for electric car manufacturing, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
PM Imran Khan has special interest in green and sustainable development, that’s why the Ministry of Climate Change was tasked to come up with an Electric Vehicle Policy.
While talking to the media, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Federal Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, elaborated the national EV policy 2020 and how the government plans to implement it.
Describing the details of the policy, the Federal Minister for Climate Change said that local car manufacturers had already completed most of the preliminary work, adding that while a visit to Karachi he was surprised to see the acknowledgment by the manufacturers. They are waiting for the policy to roll out their electric vehicles into the market.
A Korean firm is ready to establish battery change stations in Pakistan to provide quality batteries at reasonable price to the commuters and also on lease.
He expressed hopes that the policy will also help the government slash the oil import bill which has reached $2 billion annually.
“Another benefit of the policy is that it will boost the local car industry and will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the country,” the minister for climate change said.
Auto Manufacturers, with plans to roll out EV’s in Pakistan
Rahmat Group is a Sindh based group who is ready to bring electric cars to Pakistan. The Group has already acquired 25 acres of land to establish Electrical Complex at Nooriabad, Sindh. At the initial stage, the group will produce electric buses to tap the transport market in Karachi, and in the second phase, another manufacturing plant would be established at the complex to produce electric cars and bikes. As per the reports, Rahmat Group has partnered with two Chinese manufacturers to turn its plans into a reality. One Chinese company will handle electric car production while the other will help make electric vans and trucks. The group also plans to develop lithium oxide batteries for buses, cars and bikes. Rahmat Group has also signed an agreement with renowned Chinese EVs manufacturer BYD Group.
Master Motors has signed an agreement with Changan Automobile Limited to assemble and sell their cars in the country. Another Chinses company Jinbei has collaborated with Zenith Automotive (Pvt) Ltd of Pakistan to distribute and sell its Electric vehicles across the country.
Al-Haj Automotive Private Limited recently signed an agreement with Malaysian automaker Proton as the exclusive authorized distributor and assemblers of Proton vehicles in Pakistan. They also have plans to launch their Electric vehicles in the country.
Dewan Group in co-operation with BMW has introduced their top of the line electric cars, the i3 and the i8 in Pakistan. Moreover, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi and Renault are already in talks with the Ministry of Industries and Production to produce locally manufactured electric cars in the country.
Economia group is a Pakistan-based group that specializes in the manufacturing of Solar vehicles. They mainly produce solar powered Rickshaws, bikes, Vans, Cars, Golf Carts and Central Air Conditioning units.
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All-new Suzuki Swift was rumoured, doing test rounds on the roads of Pakistan. The car was registered under the name of Pak Suzuki. The most important bit of information about this Swift was that its hidden emblem, presumably “Hybrid”. Pak Suzuki had hidden the emblem with tape on it. If the rumors are correct then this CBU Swift Hybrid could be made available in Pakistan by the end of 2020.
Electric Bikes & Auto Rikshaws
Jolta Electric created the first locally manufactured electric motorcycle in 2017. The company is based in Bahria Town Rawalpindi, and showcased three of its Chargeable Electrical Motorcycles in Gwadar. Jolta also develops electric bike kits that can be retrofitted to any petrol bike being used in Pakistan. Jolta is a subsidiary of Auj Technologies, a company based in Lahore.
Some of the leading automobile manufacturers, including Super Power Motorcycles, have started introducing EV models. Neon, a Pakistan-based motorcycle assembler, has introduced Neon M3 electric motorbike in Pakistan. The macho looking sports bike comes with emission free and noiseless features as well.
Sunra, a Chinese electric bike manufacturer, also has a presence in Pakistan since 2018.
On 31 August 2019, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhery visited Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies in Islamabad, where he announced to introduce eco-friendly electric motorcycles and rickshaw to save the energy and environment. He gave a demonstration of e-bikes and e-rickshaws by driving them himself. He told that the ministry would roll out electric motorcycles and rickshaws across the country. He also added that electric motorcycles and rickshaws are the future of Pakistan’s transportation system.
It was 9 October 2019, when BBC Urdu reported that two motorbike manufacturers from Sahiwal and Lahore had launched an electric bike series by the name of “Jaguar”. CEO of Auj Technologies, a Lahore-based electric motorcycle manufacturer, says they had started a joint venture with MS Group to produce the bikes. They also claim that these are the nation’s first locally designed and manufactured electric bikes.
Pakistan Electric Vehicles Manufacturers Association (PEVMA)
On 9th November 2017, The electric vehicles manufacturers and assemblers had come together to establish Pakistan Electric Vehicles Manufacturers Association (PEVMA), with Mr. Muhammad Sabir Shaikh of SITARA AUTO IMPEX industries Ltd as the Chairman of the Association. The body would safeguard and protect the interest of EV manufacturers at all government and other relevant forums.
Incentives in Budget 2018-2019
In the federal budget 2018-19, the government has given exemption of 16 per cent customs duty on charging stations, reduction of customs duty from 50 per cent to 25 per cent and an exemption of 15 per cent regulatory duty on electric vehicles. The government has also reduced customs duty on import kits for electric vehicles from 50 per cent to 10 per cent.
Targets of New EV Policy 2020
- Market development and public awareness through tax incentives and subsidies on electric vehicles, especially to companies willing to set up EV related industry in Pakistan.
- Fuel import bill substitution through targeted penetration of electric vehicles along with local assembly and manufacturing.
- Reasonable local adoption and export of right hand driven electric vehicles and its components through indigenous research, development, assembling and manufacturing.
- Increase in the percentage of Electric Vehicles on road will help tackle the effects of climate change and also offer affordable transport to the people.
- Exemption in taxes and Duties is likely to bring heavy investment in Pakistan that will support economy as well as create new jobs in the sector.
Electricity shortage issue
A big question raised by critics is that how can Pakistan switch to electric vehicles when it faces electricity shortfall? A 2019 report titled ”Electric Vehicles in Pakistan, Policy Recommendations” says that by 2025, an excess of 15,000 MW peak generation capacity will be available in the system. It further stated that “ 500,000 EV’s can be fully charged daily with a supply of just under 1000 MWs”. Researchers are hopeful that introducing EV’s in Pakistan can solve present and imminent problems of a number of sectors, including transportation, environment, economy and power.
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