In a bid to promote environment-friendly vehicles in the country, the present government is considering establishing a separate electric vehicle (EV) board. The current Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain met Prime Minister Imran Khan in order to discuss his ministry’s role in promoting electric vehicles in Pakistan.
He informed the premier of the idea of establishing an EV board that has been put forward by the Ministry of Science and Technology along with several other ministries. PM Khan was also told that it was necessary to set up this board as soon possible for the success of the battery-operated vehicles in the country.
Pakistan Electric Vehicles and Spare Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association General Secretary Shaukat Qureshi appreciated the government’s initiative to create an EV board. He said that this was possible due to the collaborative efforts of Ministry of IT, Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Industries and Production and other related departments. “Since EVs are the future of transportation all over the world, Pakistan cannot lag behind and it is already late in adopting electric transport because of the existing state of automobile sector,” wrote Qureshi in a letter written to the relevant departments. He further shared that the EDB and the Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC) were formed over two decades ago for the purpose of regulating the automobile industry of Pakistan, however, they fell prey to corruption and were taken over by an influential lobby which carved the rules in its favor. These beneficiaries, he believes, would also oppose the EV’s and create unfavorable conditions for electric transportation.
Moreover, the electric vehicle technology wasn’t present then but considering the fact that it is now being introduced in Pakistan, an EV board is the need of the hour, he said. He also expressed the fear that the Japanese companies would introduce their electric vehicle models in the country by 2030 and would once again gain control over Pakistan’s car market.
In the meeting, the premier stressed the importance of battery-operated transport vehicles and ordered for the EV board to be established at the earliest.
The Future is Electric
A few years back, no one could have imagined a vehicle without an engine. However, it has become a reality now owing to the technological developments and the focus on renewable energy. Project Drawdown which is a climate change mitigation project initiated by Paul Hawken and climate activist Amanda Joy Ravenhill has also added electric vehicles to the list of the 100 best contemporary solutions for addressing climate change. The significance of this technology can be assessed by the fact that TESLA celebrated Battery Day last year in September.
The broader picture of the automobile industry suggests that a revolution is incoming. The conventional internal combustion engines which have been the dominant propulsion method for motor vehicles since the past 100 years are now going to be replaced with a battery-packed system. Even though, the revolution is being led by Tesla under Elon Musk, there is an increasing demand for electric vehicles all over the world. Norway became the first country in the world where the sale of electric cars surpassed those powered by petrol, diesel and hybrid engines last year. Norway aims to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025. The US isn’t far behind and Canada and UK have also jumped on the bandwagon.
Read More: Op-ed: Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Pakistan
Pakistan Government Approves EV Policy
Pakistan has also become a part of the revolution recently by approving a five-year EV policy. This policy has set targets and incentives aimed at seeing electric vehicles capture 30% of all the passenger vehicle and heavy-duty truck sales by 2030, and 90% by 2040. The Ministry of Science and Technology along with the Ministry of Industries and Production have a crucial role to play in bringing out fruitful results. An EV board with the right type of expertise and knowledge is an immediate requirement for the successful implementation of the plan.