Hybrid electric vehicles offer potential reductions in Pakistan’s import bill and carbon emissions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is grappling with the significant challenges posed by climate change, and its efforts to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions have led to strategic measures on various fronts.

According to the Global Carbon Budget 2022 report, Pakistan’s annual CO2 emissions reached 229.51 million tons in 2021, marking a 9 percent increase from the previous year’s 210.38 million tons, with oil consumption emerging as the second-largest contributor after coal.

The production of electric vehicles (EVs), particularly Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), is a step towards addressing this environmental concern. In alignment with the Automotive Industry Development & Export Plan (AIDEP 2021-2026), two prominent automakers have announced their intention to manufacture HEVs in Pakistan.

The anticipated benefits of this endeavour extend to both economic and environmental domains. By adopting HEVs, Pakistan could potentially reduce its dependency on fossil fuels, leading to a projected 50 percent decrease in the import bill. This reduction translates to an estimated annual saving of USD 37 million.

From an environmental perspective, introducing 30 thousand HEVs to the Pakistani market could potentially reduce carbon emissions by around 35 percent. This envisaged decrease, from the current annual output of 203,000 tons attributed to internal combustion engines (ICEs) to approximately 132,000 tons, aligns with emission reduction objectives.

Ali Asghar Jamali, Chief Executive of Indus Motor, emphasizes the role of HEVs as a pragmatic solution for carbon dioxide reduction, particularly in nations heavily reliant on fossil fuels like Pakistan and India. These countries, with fossil fuel shares of 62 percent and 75 percent, respectively, can potentially benefit from the adoption of HEVs to address their emissions profiles.

According to Jamali the fuel efficiency advantages of HEVs, noting a 53 percent improvement compared to ICE vehicles. With an average fuel efficiency of 26 kilometers per liter for HEVs versus 12 kilometers per liter for ICE vehicles, the potential for cost savings is evident.

However, while the prospects for HEVs are promising, it is essential to maintain a focus on consistent planning and long-term policy commitments. Ensuring a sustained trajectory of supportive policies is crucial to fostering an environment that encourages manufacturers to invest in and contribute to Pakistan’s economic and environmental sustainability objectives.

As Pakistan navigates its journey towards reducing carbon emissions and diversifying its transportation landscape, the emergence of HEVs offers a pragmatic avenue for progress.

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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