ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar has said that the local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) in Pakistan would start during this year.
Addressing a consultative workshop “Scaling up electric Mobility in Pakistan” here Thursday, Hammad Azhar said that the local assembling of electric motorbike has already been started in the country. The event was organiSed jointly by National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and UNDP.
Hammad Azhar said the government has introduced its first national EV policy last year and announced new incentives to promote EV adoption. He said that the government has reduced the custom duties and sales tax on EVS which would help accelerate this transition towards cleaner and efficient mobility.
The minister said role of EV charging infrastructure was critical. Hence, the widespread, accessible public charging infrastructure network was needed to support a robust EV market, he said. The minister said there are some unique challenges that were required to be addressed for achieving the electric mobility goals. First, they had to provide reliable supply of power to charge these EVs and this would require upgrading the grid and distribution network, the minister maintained. He said that it was a new technology and it required charging infrastructure. The energy minister said the government would fully support the private sector in the development of charging facilities in the country. He informed that the private sector has already started developing charging infrastructure in the country.
Hammad Azhar said there was a need for establishing the regulatory framework to streamline the development of EV charging stations across the country. The energy minister urged the NEECA and other relevant entities to expedite work on regulation, standardization and licensing policy for development of charging infrastructure. He said it would not only reduce billions of dollars oil import bill but also help control pollution in cities and absorb the surplus electricity capacity in the country. The minister congratulated NEECA and the UNDP for their partnership on this aspect of electrification of road transport sector in Pakistan.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms Aliona Niculita said that transport and energy were priority sectors for UNDP and they would provide full cooperation to the government of Pakistan in this regard. Earlier, speaking on the occasion, MD NEECA Sardar Mohazzam said that NEECA was authorized to define standard of charging station for EV. Charging stations were being set up in various parts of the country to ensure the mobility of Electric Vehicles, he added. The MD however said that price and standard of voltage for charging EVs would be decided.