Hybrids to transform automobile landscape

KARACHI   -   Role of hybrids in transforming the automobile landscape in Pakistan and its impact in development of technology driven engineering base have been highlighted in the Auto Industry Media Workshop ‘22.

Organised by Indus Motor Company, the workshop also highlighted localization levels achieved by the local auto industry and impact of successive auto policies on the industry.

CEO IMC Ali Asghar Jamali, industry experts and part makers briefed the media about the effectiveness of successive auto policies, factors affecting prices in the auto sector and IMC’s vision of manufacturing hybrid vehicles locally. Pakistan should develop a national industrial policy for the period of 20 years so that the serious investors can come to Pakistan eventually attracting the foreign direct investment in the field of steel, resin, light engineering etc.

“The automotive industry in Pakistan is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country and it accounts for over 2-3% of Pakistan’s GDP. Pakistan is the 35th largest producer of automotives,” said Jamali.

The CEO said that IMC is increasing production capacity to meet increasing customer demands while suppliers are also requested to cap up their capacities to meet future demands as the company aims to produce over 90,000 vehicles in 2022 with 100% efficiency and overtime, while adding, “We are putting extra effort and time currently to produce vehicles more than our current capacity.”

He also mentioned that Indus Motor Company supports government initiatives and measures to sustain developmental growth in economy. “We are the torch bearer of ‘Make in Pakistan’ philosophy. Continuing the legacy, Toyota has already invested $100 million to produce Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) in Pakistan and plans to bring Electric Vehicle (EV) in the long term when the country is ready for this technology,” he said. Introduction of hybrid technology will add a new dimension to localization in Pakistan. It would also benefit Pakistan by forex saving and reducing the petroleum import bill by decreasing fuel consumption. It is pertinent to mention that hybrid vehicles are a midterm solution before electric vehicles as Pakistan doesn’t have the infrastructure ready for EVs. “We can confidently claim that with existing power generation mix HEVs can serve all the objectives of EVs, including cap on carbon emission, reduction in oil import bill while contributing to the localization and increase in GDP,” he added.

“Pakistan imports $9.7 billion worth of crude oil for refineries to produce petrol and diesel and the largest category of import is petroleum commodities,” said Jamali, adding that the import bill can be reduced by 50% if the country has 100% HEVs. On the other hand, he added, the BEVs depend on electricity and Pakistan is producing 62% of electricity based on fossil fuels with up-to 30% line losses. “The EVs will increase local LNG, coal and crude oil imports while investment for improving distribution and creating a charging infrastructure would also be required,” said Jamali.

Therefore, he added, based on current infrastructure and forex conditions HEV is the best solution for Pakistan. The CEO said that Toyota is a pioneer in modern HEV vehicle technology which can be gauged by the fact that 16 million HEV sold out by Toyota globally. It has a series–parallel hybrid technology which is superior and best in class. Bloomberg predicts a higher share of HEV versus BEV to continue till 2030 as for the above mentioned reasons there is a much higher acceptability of HEVs against BEVs, globally.

All major auto manufacturers are working on HEVs and the efficiency of HEVs will further increase in future as safety features will be added in new generation HEVs or other vehicles.

Subject experts in the event highlighted that hybrid adds diversity to emission control measures and Pakistan ought to adjust to its market dynamics while choosing between hybrids and EVs. Energy mix is a critical factor to diversify these options. Pakistan’s energy mix is similar to Poland and not like France or Norway where renewable energy has a greater share, hence Pakistan requires diversified solutions to control emissions. “Future holds an array of hybrid benefits. Heavy vehicles like trucks will also use a hybrid system in future,” they added. Speaking on the price hike on vehicles in Pakistan, the CEO reasoned that the whole world has witnessed unprecedented inflationary pressures in the last couple of years and Pakistan was no exception. Pandemic resulted in disruption of the global supply chain which was worsened further by Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Rupee dollar disparity, exponential increase in utilities, overwhelming freight charges and government taxation upto 40% has contributed to the adversity in Pakistan.

Solution to our economic problems lies in Make in Pakistan. It will only help achieve macroeconomic economic goals of GDP increase, employment generation, exports boost and imports reduction. Auto industry being the mother of all industries can play a pivotal role in it, provided, government ensures predictable and transparent policies.

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