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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Pakistan entering the era of EVs with the upcoming auto policy

The government is holding meetings with relevant stakeholders as the old Auto Policy 2016-21 is going to expire by June 30th and a new Auto Policy is to be introduced for the next five years. The government wants to introduce eco-friendly transport system in Pakistan, but the other people disagree with the approach.

Like almost every car enthusiast and industry overall waits for the new Auto Policy 2021-26, the minister for industries and production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar has issued a statement on Wednesday regarding the new policy.

According to the minister, the new auto policy would focus on the automobile industry’s growth and development, keeping in mind the affordability, quality, localization, and accessibility.

The minister has been having meetings with various auto sector stakeholders to discuss the Auto Industry Development & Export Plan (AIDEP) 2021-26, and during the meeting, he said the government is expecting the private sector to increase the footprint of electric vehicles to combat climate change and reduce the oil import bill.

According to a recent study, Pakistan’s transport sector has a growth of about 12.5 percent in the demand for petrol and about 9.6 percent in the demand for diesel in the road transport of Pakistan.

This means that the import bill will increase as the demand for petroleum products increase in Pakistan.

According to media reports, the representatives of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) and the Pakistan Association of Auto Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) held separate meetings with the minister. Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood was also present.

Read More: MG makes new strides on EVs and Car Assembly front: CEO Javed Afridi

Reportedly, the minister emphasized the reduction of the cars’ prices so that they become affordable for the large section of society, including middle- and lower-class people.

The associations present commended the government support to the private sector amidst the pandemic via giving salary loans, investment loans, and slashing of interest rates to protect the industry, dawn reports.

The members decided to hold such meetings with the stakeholders till the policy is finalized.

A better alternative

Although electric vehicles seem like the ultimate goal, the charging infrastructure and electricity transmission and supply issues are a big hurdle, the local industry is urging the government to work towards other alternatives too, like the hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

With first-world still facing infrastructural accessibility issues, the feasibility of the EVs to be a mass accessible product is very low. Thus, the industry reportedly is supporting a policy for HEVs with a better enthusiasm.

It must be remembered that MG has announced its Plug-in-Hybrid for Pakistan recently. This kind of vehicle is arguably better as it has a higher range and does not limit the cars to main cities where the infrastructure is present, and the car uses electricity and fuel to increase range.

With the current rates of electricity in Pakistan, HEV is the best option. According to the argument being made, it costs less than EVs and internal combustion engines for Pakistan.

Read More: Pakistan to get a Plug-in-Hybrid by MG!!

The deal has been made

While the government sector ponders over the policy option, the private sector continues to make strides in the development of the EV infrastructure in the country.

On 12th May, the Dynamic Engineering and Automation (DEA) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Chinese Energy Vehicles (EV) charger manufacturer and supplier to jointly establish a chain of charging stations across Pakistan.

According to a press release received to APP,“ DEA has signed an MoU with one of the largest EV charger manufacturers and suppliers in China, RNL Technologies, and has the sole representation of them in Pakistan.”

The press release said that the Chinese company is willing to help DEA to establish and grow this sector in a sustainable manner in Pakistan and added the DEA has already made a vast experience in fulfilling the energy demand of the country by its LPG Air mix & LNG solutions and now DEA wants to do the same for EV sector based on its previous knowledge and experience.

As a renowned energy solution provider, the DEA is eager to put its knowledge and experience to take part in this sector and establish a chain of EV charging stations across the country on motorways, highways, and intercity on gas stations and shopping malls.

It may be mentioned here that after the announcement of the new EV policy by the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the market demand for EVs has been increased and more new EV manufacturers are coming to Pakistan.

However, the experts said when the policy was launched and they are saying even now that the government should focus first on revolutionizing the public sector transport, as that would be a much sustainable policy for the future of the country.

Read More: Why is Pakistan so slow to adopt to Electric Cars?