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November 22, 2019

Electric vehicles to trim annual oil import bill by $2bln: PM adviser


November 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Introduction of electric vehicles in Pakistan will save the country around $2 billion spent annually on oil imports, while they are expected to provide consumers with car maintenance cost benefits, a PM adviser said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Adviser on Climate Change Amin Aslam said consumers could save over 30 percent cost of vehicle maintenance, “because these (electric vehicles) do not require petrol or gas, no engine oil and driving them is highly comfortable, and affordable”.

“Such vehicles would require maintaining of the brakes, tyres and suspension and that’s about it,” Aslam said during a media briefing.

“Electric vehicles do not emit vehicle emissions and these are cleaner, do not cause noise pollution and eliminate your fuel costs,” he said. “Besides, EVs are fun to drive and these have instant torque and offer a very smooth ride.”

Private electric vehicle manufacturing stakeholders and investors were also present at the briefing.

PM adviser said electric vehicle policy would help revolutionise overall transport sector of the country in coming years and urban outlook with introduction of better, sustainable and environmental-friendly transport facility.

The cabinet approved the policy on November 5. The policy would significantly help boost pollution-free transport facilities in the country in a way “that are not harmful to environment and do not emit any smoke and cause noise pollution”.

“Introduction of electric vehicles in Pakistan following the EV policy, which was framed after consultation with all relevant stakeholders from government and non-governmental sectors, are going to be a big change for the people to switch from fuelling at the pump to fuelling at an outlet,” the adviser said.

“From the running costs of electric cars to being very environmental-friendly, introduction of electric vehicles in the country will help cut country’s oil import bill, yield countless benefits for both environment and the people and their overall lifestyle and the way our cities look.”

Aslam said electricity is less expensive than gasoline, and it also has a much more stable price point, “meaning that rapid price swings are all but eliminated by going electric”.

PM adviser said carbon dioxide emissions from traditional vehicles contribute to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and accelerate climate change and overall environmental degradation and hurt public health.

“Conversely, all-electric vehicles don’t produce climate change-causing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” he said. “Besides, hybrid electric vehicles use their battery to greatly improve the distance you can travel with a gasoline-powered engine.”

The adviser further said switching to an electric vehicle is one way to reduce further damage to the earth, cut individual carbon and transport sector’s footprints. “With implementation of electric vehicle policy of Pakistan, a new economic sector will emerge, introducing a new electric vehicle producing industrial sector and thousands new jobs,” he said. “As part of the policy goal, provincial governments are being approached to usher in launch of mass transit system in urban areas, under which electric buses would be introduced to provide pollution, noise-free, comfortable and cheaper transport facilities to the masses, particularly women.”

PM adviser said the federal government would provide every possible help to the provincial governments to introduce such mass transit system.