Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
March 3, 2021

‘Pakistan lags behind in producing environmentally friendly vehicles’


March 3, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan lagged behind in the production of environmental friendly vehicles as compared with regional players like India, Malaysia and Bangladesh that were transforming their automotive industry for compliance towards zero emissions, industry people told The News.

These regional countries were also aiming to continue nurturing their local parts manufacturing industries, in order to protect their investment and infrastructure, sustain their massive employment, and retain their valuable tax contributions to their exchequer.

This posturing was considered vital for achieving the economic goals laid down in India's EV policy as well as in Bangladesh’s maiden Auto Industry Development Policy, where the definition of included plug in hybrid (PHEV) and strong hybrid (SHEV).

Pakistan's EV policy was completely oblivious to any kind of hybrid option, Loads Limited CEO Munir K Bana, said.

Globally, hybrids and PHEVs were an integral part of the EV policy, as they provided immediate solutions to environmental challenges by improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon footprint, without requiring funding for large scale infrastructure investments, he reasoned.

As per the economic survey, Pakistan’s electricity production is still 58.4 percent dependent on thermal sources, such as coal, LNG, RLNG and furnace oil. Without changing the mix in energy sector, CO2 emissions will only shift from vehicle tail pipes in urban city centres to power plant chimneys. This may not help our national climate targets as, due to line losses in distribution, we would end up with a substantial rise in national CO2 foot print.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) too have been evolving around the globe, but substantial share of BEV sales was concentrated only in countries with high GDP per capita. In Europe, electrically chargeable vehicles sales were limited to Germany, Norway, France and UK.

He said that Pakistan’s macroeconomic goals of employment generation and exports were tied to industrialisation of high value goods, especially in engineering sector and not in trade-oriented policies, which would destroy all levels of localisation within five years.

“This period is large enough to eliminate 3,000 large and small auto parts manufacturers’ base, spread all over Pakistan, who provide employment to over 2.5 million persons and are proud to be one of the few fully documented sectors of the economy.”

He added that they needed to quickly make cost benefit analysis of both the technologies ie PHEVs and BEVs and ensure maximum parts localization for these versions in Pakistan.

He said that at the current cost of technology, Pakistan runs the risk of losing more foreign exchange on the import of expensive BEVs or its parts than it would save on the reduced oil

import bill or utilisation of excess generation capacity.

“The BEVs are at least 50 to 55 percent more expensive than Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) vehicles, and even with zero duties/taxes, BEVs will remain out of reach for the common man and only the ultra- rich can afford these luxury electric vehicles,” said Bana, adding that BEVs have the potential to capture at the most five percent of the Pakistani market.

“Even at subsidised prices, the cost far outweighs the benefits, because, on an average, a BEV covers four to five kilometres per KWH, or an average 40,000 KM per year, which will consume 8,400 KWH of energy per annum for charging,” he reasoned.

Hence, the most reliable solution in this regard were hybrid vehicles because HEV/PHEVs cost 15 percent to 18 percent over their internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent and provide great fuel savings and were also environment friendly.

Besides, he added, till we exceed 75 percent of electricity generation from renewable or hydro sources, only HEVs and PHEVs would suit Pakistan, as they serve all government objectives, such as reduction in oil import bill and CO2 emissions, lower outflow of forex, and utilisation of excess generation capacity.

“It can therefore be concluded that Pakistan needs an electrification policy rather than an electric vehicle policy,” he said.