Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar has expressed hope that under the clean and green initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan, local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) would start in the country by this year.
Addressing a consultative workshop on ‘scaling up electric mobility in Pakistan’, organised jointly by the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and UNDP, on Thursday, the minister said that the government has introduced its first national EV policy last year and announced new incentives to promote adoption of electric vehicles.
The government reduced the customs duties and sales tax on EV, which would help accelerate this transition towards cleaner and efficient mobility, he said. The minister said that role of EV charging infrastructure was critical. Hence, a widespread, accessible public charging infrastructure network was needed to support a robust EV market, he added.
Azhar shared that there are some unique challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve our electric mobility goals. “First, we have to provide reliable supply of power to charge these EVs and this would require upgrading the grid and distribution network.”
He said that assembling of electric motorbike has already been started in the country. As it was a new technology, it required charging infrastructure. He said that the private sector has also started developing charging infrastructure in the country. The government would fully support the private sector in this regard, he added.
The minister said there was a need for establishing a regulatory framework to streamline the development of EV charging stations across the country. He urged the NEECA and other relevant entities to expedite work on regulation, standardisation and licensing policy for development of charging infrastructure.
The minister was of the view that not only would it reduce billions of dollars in oil import bill but also help control pollution in cities and absorb the surplus electricity capacity in the country.