The Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Fawad Chaudhry has announced to launch electric vehicles to observe the environment friendly policy of his party, PTI. He broke this news on his visit to Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies in Islamabad where he was invited at the launch of Eco-friendly electric motor bikes and auto-rickshaw. Adding further he narrated that initially electric motor bikes and rickshaws will be rolled out all over Pakistan, while the electric cars and heavy vehicles will be launched later in collaboration with Japan. Fawad Chaudhry declared the Eco-friendly bikes and rickshaws the future of Pakistan.
Is this something new in Pakistan?
A large number of people are impressed and over-whelmed with the news however just for the sake of adding to the information of valuable readers, automobile companies have been working to manufacture Eco-friendly vehicles for a number of years. Peeping into the past, the first ever fully electric bike was introduced by TAZ trading in Karachi in 2014. It was an imported fuel-free bike quite similar to what women used to drive in India and China.
In 2017, Jolta International a Pakistani Automobile manufacturing company introduced the first ever locally manufactured electric motor bikes E70, E100, and E125.
As for the Car industry, Hybrid cars have already been introduced by various manufacturers that are running on the roads smoothly and economically. The names include Prius and Aqua from Toyota and Vezel and Freed from Honda but just to clear your mind, none of the three are being manufactured in Pakistan rather being imported directly from Japan. Moreover after the introduction of the Automotive Development Policy (2016-2021) and the CPEC, various foreign automobile companies gave their consent to shake hand with Pakistan in terms of manufacturing the electric vehicles (EVs) on local level. The current Government has also taken positive initiative to extend the efforts of the previous Government for the emergence of EVs by providing exemptions on custom and regulatory duty on charging stations of EVs and kits of electric vehicles. However they cannot be considered as the pioneers to launch EVs projects in Pakistan.
Moreover, Dewan Motors had launched public charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs in Lahore and Karachi in 2017 while the other projects are in the pipeline regarding EVs.
Karakoram Motors of Pakistan have been assembling and manufacturing the Dynasty IT Electric cars after it acquired the rights of sole-production with all technology and tools in 2008 (from a Canadian Firm Dynasty) that were imported and assembled from Canada in the past.
Rehmat Group is another huge group that is going to manufacture its Electric buses, electric cars and electric motor cycles step wise with the help of two Chinese companies. In addition to all this, the “Giants of Vehicle Industry” like BMW, Audi, Renault, Nissan and Hyundai are already on their way to launch their EVs in Pakistan.
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Zero fuel cost
Since these vehicles are completely electricity based, the cost of fuel will be “0” and there is no blessing other than that for a car lover these days. Moreover you can even reduce your electricity cost of charging the batteries by simply adding a solar panel on the roof top of your vehicle.
As the EVs involve no internal combustion, there is no emission of carbon dioxide gas into the air which has been a horrible scenario whenever it comes to the conventional vehicles and so you will surely contribute towards keeping the environment clean and safe along with your electric vehicle
Low Maintenance Cost
The cost of maintaining an EV is much lower than that of a fuel based car and this makes you comfortable and relaxed especially in the sinking days of month.
Limitations of Electric Vehicles
Limited Recharge Points
The EVs need to be recharged and hence there must be a network of recharging stations so as to accommodate the EVs while traveling on the long routes and that seems to be a difficult task for the Government especially when it is going to launch the EVs for the first time.
High Initial Cost
Although the maintenance cost of an electric vehicle is much lower than a traditional (fuel-based) car, the initial price of a hybrid or an electric vehicle is significantly higher and is not affordable for a common person.
Low Range, low Speed and long charging duration
Normally the range and speed of an electric vehicle are notably lesser than a conventional car and needs to be recharged for a long time (4-6 hours) and that is quite irritating and hectic while you are on long trips with your family or on have been assigned with some official tours.
Not suitable for countries with shortage of Electricity
The EVs are suitable for those countries that are not facing the problems of shortage of electricity or load-shedding. In case of the countries like Pakistan, it seems a bit difficult to run and maintain the project of EVs smoothly and successfully due to shortage of electricity.