Automobile lobby obstructing EV policy for ‘vested interests’ | Pakistan Today

Automobile lobby obstructing EV policy for ‘vested interests’

–Official says Pakistan has little time to take advantage of EV policy, become lead manufacturer 

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) on Tuesday said some elements with ‘vested interests’ were trying to sabotage the National Electric Vehicle Policy (NEVP), approved by the federal cabinet in November 2019.

An official alleged, “Deep-rooted’ automobile manufacturers’ lobby, in connivance with its few consolidators at the helm of affairs, was active to scuttle the policy.

The MoCC official argued that there was no issue in defining the policy by the Ministry of Industries and Production; however, around 40 per cent of the major world policies were spearheaded and housed in the climate ministries across the globe owing to the global focus on cutting air emissions.

He said the committee formed by the Economic Coordination Committee to hold consultations on the policy through relevant ministries was headed by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries Production Abdul Razak Dawood and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam was also its member.

“Most of the fuel-based cars produced in Pakistan are not up to the mark as they had euro-II engines installed in the vehicles and are also abusing the masses by selling them at hefty costs. The car that costs half a million rupees in India is sold for over a million rupees in Pakistan and these also lacked road safety equipment and modern technology,” he regretted.

He said Pakistan only has a 3-4 year window to cash in on the opportunity and become a leading manufacturer of the right-hand drive EVs by 2023.

“If the time lapsed in just deciding the incentives package and policy domain then Pakistan will lose this opportunity and some other country will benefit through it. Like the combustion engine, we will then become a net importer of EVs only.”

He said 43 per cent contribution was caused due to emissions of non-compliant fuel using vehicles whereas the import bill of oil costs Pakistan around $14billion and with the EV introduction this oil import bill could be reduced by $2bn.

Moreover, he said, the proposed policy summary had suggested a nominal import duty of one per cent on the import of only parts and components of electric cars of various categories, including 2-3 wheelers, different types of cars, and heavy traffic vehicles.

It further recommended nominal sales tax at one per cent on the sale of all EV categories to make these affordable for the buyers and the general public.

It merits mention here that Pakistan Ordinance Factory (POF) would become the first public institution to adopt zero-emissions vehicles and save Rs734.3 million per month after converting its transport fleet to electric vehicles (EVs).

Also, in response to the EV policy, the leading rickshaw manufacturer “Sazgaar” has already inaugurated its facility to manufacture EV rickshaws which was done by the Advisor on Climate Change in February this year.

When contacted Pakistan Electric Vehicles and Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association (PEVPMTA) head Shaukat Qureshi, he said they were already in contact with the POF to help them out in the conversion of their transport fleet over EVs.

The electric cars had already undergone a test and trial of 8 months in Pakistan so that those models were modified as per the market demand and respective conditions.

“The EV policy approved by the cabinet is a game-changer for Pakistan and should not be sabotaged by vested interests” he stressed.

An electric vehicle, including a motorcycle, was saving up to Rs6,000 per month, whereas a small car or pick-up vans could save Rs 21,00/month. In the case of heavy transport vehicles, such as busses, they could save at least Rs200,000 every month due to the non-consumption of fuel, he added.