Federal cabinet approved the first-ever national Electric Vehicles (EV) policy last week in a bid to tackle effects of climate change and reduce country’s fuel import bill. However local auto assemblers & the related stake holders have shown serious concerns over the approval of EV policy labeling it as an “ad hoc decision”.
Responding to which, Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam says there is no reason for the current players in the auto industry to worry following the approval of Electric Vehicle Policy by the parliament. Malik Amin Aslam while talking to Pakistan Today said:
“The Electric Vehicle Policy will certainly transform the auto industry and we have to implement it if we want to achieve our low pollution goals. But I would say they (current auto players) have nothing to worry about in the aftermath of the EV policy. In fact, I believe they will have competitive advantage over new manufacturers since they already have manufacturing facilities installed.”
He asserted that there were no two opinions if the government wanted to go ahead with the policy or not. Amin Aslam added that the policy has now been approved by the parliament and “there’s no going back from this”. Emphasizing further on the seriously increasing pollution levels, the Advider said:
“Contribution to pollution by the automobiles has a world average of 20% but our automobiles contribute 40%; this is a place we have to work on if we want to have lesser carbon footprints in the country.”
However, Malik said they have requested all stakeholders, including present and new auto manufacturers, to reach a consensus over the establishment of a roadmap to achieve the goal of 30% new EV sales by the year 2030. He expressed optimism that goal to establish the entire infrastructure, which would be required to promote EVs, would be achieved soon as the government has given a lot of incentives for this purpose. Electric vehicles would not only help users save their money but it would reduce the country’s import bill by $2 billion, Malik Amin added.
“We are looking to establish an EV industry for Pakistan’s domestic market. We will also be using our cordial relations with China to establish an export market for right-hand drive (RHD) EVs. Most of the production in China is of LHD EVs, so we believe we can achieve that target too.”
Malik Amin said the work has been completed regarding the transfer of technology from China for the manufacturing of batteries, adding that hopefully Pakistan would also be able to produce its own batteries for EVs. “There are swappable batteries as well as solar powered batteries. We have multiple options in front of us and we will work on them accordingly,” he added.
According to Malik Amin, EVs are more adaptable for localization as compared to conventional gasoline vehicles.
“We will be able to localize EVs more as compared to combustion engine vehicles that have always been poorly localized and have never achieved their localization goals. At least half of the cost of a locally produced car is derived from imported parts – CKDs, which makes car prices prone to currency fluctuations.”
He said that it was now a matter of months that people would start seeing EVs on roads. However, he added that initially, the focus would be on two and three-wheelers, which are approximately 20 million in the country as compared to three million 4-wheelers (present road traffic in the country).