Electric vehicle industry faces challenges in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD-The electric vehicle (EV) industry in Pakistan is facing many challenges due to which it is yet to get off to a flying start. One of the challenges is the lack of charging infrastructure.
Engr. Asim Ayaz, Policy Manager at the Engineering Development Board of Pakistan (EDB), said this while talking to WealthPK. He said EVs are environment-friendly and have the potential to reduce dependence on the imported oil, which currently accounted for a significant portion of the country’s import bill. “The Engineering Development Board has granted licenses to 12 companies out of 21 enterprises to manufacture and assemble EVs. The current adoption rate of EVs is 2.2% for two and three-wheelers and 0% for four-wheeler vehicles. However, a license is being granted to DICE and MG Motors to explore the market in four-wheeler modifications,” Asim said. “To increase the EV purchasing intent and promote the EV development in Pakistan, we may have to make some important policy suggestions as a result of our findings, which offer key insights for rapid adoption and acceptance of EVs,” he said. Furthermore, Asim said, “Lack of charging infrastructure is a major challenge for wider adoption of EVs in Pakistan. The participating companies are not fully prepared to fulfil the requirements of charging stations [installation] and their successful work. The government needs to invest in the charging stations across the country.”
“Many people in Pakistan are not familiar with EVs and their benefits. The government needs to launch awareness campaigns to educate consumers about their advantages.” Talking to WealthPK, Director of Centre for Business and Economic Research at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Dr. Junaid Alam Memon said, “The National Electric Vehicle Policy is achievable because EVs are easier to produce, have fewer parts, and require fewer personnel on the assembly line. EVs are simpler to maintain and less expensive for buyers.”
Transportation consumes much of the world oil. In order to drastically reduce oil use to achieve climate targets, the transportation industry should be decarbonized. As a result, the auto industry must convert from using fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources –EVs– which use clean electricity and are the best way to achieve this goal. Pakistan spent $10.589 billion on crude oil and LNG imports in FY2021-22, which was almost 13.5% of the total import bill. Promotion of EVs will lead to significant reduction in trade deficit, which will have a positive impact on the balance of payments, according to the annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). According to a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pakistan needs to install 25,000 charging stations by 2030 to support the adoption of EVs. The report suggests that the government should develop a comprehensive plan for deployment of charging infrastructure and work with the private sector companies for investment.

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