Sunday September 26, 2021

Pakistan to start local EVs assembling this year

July 30, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Under the clean and green initiatives of the government, Pakistan is going to start local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) by this year, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said on Thursday.

The minister said this while addressing a consultative workshop titled “Scaling up Electric Mobility in Pakistan” that was jointly organized by the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and the UNDP. He said the assembling of the electric motorbikes has already started in the country.

Last year, Pakistan introduced the Electric Vehicles Policy 2020-2025, targeting a robust electric vehicle market having a 30 per cent and 90 per cent share in passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks by 2030 and 2040 respectively. In this policy, new incentives to promote EVs adoption were introduced. Customs duties and sales tax on EVs have been reduced that would help accelerate this transition towards cleaner and efficient mobility, he said.

However, the minister said there are some unique challenges. “We have to address them to achieve our electric mobility goals. The first challenge we are facing is the provision of reliable power supply to charging centers of these vehicles and that would require upgradation of the grid and distribution network.”

The role of EV charging infrastructure is critical. The widespread, accessible public charging infrastructure network is needed to support a robust EV market. The private sector has also started developing charging infrastructure in the country. The government would fully support the private sector in this regard. The establishment of the regulatory framework to streamline the development of EV charging stations across the country is also needed. The NEECA is already working on it and the minister urged it and other relevant entities to expedite work on regulation, standardization and licensing policy for the development of charging infrastructure.

The minister said it would not only reduce billions of dollars oil import bills but also help control pollution in cities and absorb the surplus electricity capacity in the country. Earlier, in his tweets, he said the Iranian government has been requested to normalize its power supply situation, amid load-shedding in Balochistan’s coastal region. “These areas are not connected to the national grid and are dependent on Iranian power supply. Work is under way on connecting these areas with the national grid. This involves laying transmission lines for hundreds of kilometres. This project will be completed within two years,” he said.

In a meeting with the Iranian ambassador, he informed that the power outages in some areas of Balochistan are due to power shortfall in Iran. The Iranian envoy assured the minister of speedy restoration of power.