Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar expressed hopes that under the clean and green initiative of the Prime Minister, local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) would start in the country by this year.
Addressing a consultative workshop “Scaling up electric Mobility in Pakistan”, organized jointly by the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and UNDP, the minister said the government introduced its first national EV policy last year and announced new incentives to promote EV adoption. The government reduced custom duties and sales tax on EVs which would help accelerate this transition towards cleaner and efficient mobility, he said.
The minister said the 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 we had to address towards achieving our electric mobility goals. First, we had to provide a reliable supply of power to charge these EVs and this would require upgrading the grid and distribution network.”
He said that the assembling of electric motorbikes has already been started in the country. As it was a new technology and 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 the 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, standardization, and licensing policy for the development of the charging infrastructure. He said it would not only reduce billions of dollars worth of oil import bills 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 the road transport sector in Pakistan.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, MD NEECA Dr.Sardar Mohazzam said that NEECA was authorized to define the standard of charging stations for EVs. Charging stations were being set up in various parts of the country for charging EVs, he said.
However, he said the price and standard of voltage for charging EVs would be decided.
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 in this regard.