Electric Vehicles (EV) is the future. The new EV technology is a game changer for the environment and also promises various benefits to developing countries like Pakistan to arrest balance-of-payments crisis by reducing their fossil fuel imports. However, a pollution-free environment or a greener future will depend a lot on the development of fast-charging electric vehicle batteries and the availability of charging infrastructure on roads and highways.
Electric cars are ever more appealing in a world where reducing carbon emissions and pollution is a growing concern for many people. They emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life than a petrol or diesel car.
However, the adoption of EV technology remains slow despite its salutary impact on the environment and multiple economic advantages for consumers. As absence of charging infrastructure network along highways and motorways is a key obstacle restricting plying of costly electric vehicles on inter-city routes in Pakistan. Owners of EVs have not been able to test the technology on long routes by driving to other cities due to battery limitations and unavailability of charging points.
At the moment there is only one commercial charging facility in Lahore which provides rapid charge. In Islamabad, the Pakistan State Oil says one EV charging facility has already been operational at a pump, while three more charging facilities are coming up shortly. Shell Pakistan Ltd and K-Electric signed an agreement in January 2021 for setting up of vehicle charging stations. These outlets would be set up at Shell Defence filling station at Khayaban Bahria, Askari filling station at Gulshan Town and Mardan filling station at Gadap Town where 50kWh rapid charging set up would be installed.
Pakistan 1st EV Policy
The approval of Pakistan’s first electric vehicle policy towards the end of last year has given rise to an ongoing media debate. The government plans that 30% of all new cars, trucks, buses, vans and jeeps, and 50% of all two-, three- and four-wheelers will be electric vehicles by 2030. By 2040, 90% of vehicles on the road are envisioned as electric.
The EV provides at least 50% saving as compared to running the vehicle on petrol. Therefore all over the world efforts are being made to enhance the running range of the vehicle to 450-500kms on a full charge, as well as greatly reducing charging time.
Pakistan needs commercial rapid charging outlets at every 100kms on the highways or motorways, only then it will make a sense of using EV in the country.