Pak-China to maximize EV potential in Pakistan
By Surra Kamran
With global emission targets in place and an ever-growing awareness of the dangers of traditional gasoline and diesel cars, more and more people are turning to electric vehicles (EVs). Global electric car sales are continuing to grow, as a record that 6.6 million electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in 2021. Lots of Pakistani companies and joint ventures in Pakistan are also making efforts in this field.
"Our first electric commercial vehicle is called ECODOST. Pakistan's famous distributors, logistics companies, and various industrialists have shown a lot of interest," said Danish Diwan. sales manager of Nova Mobility. With ever-increasing fuel prices, there is a lot of demand for electric or hybrid vehicles in Pakistan.
However, a lot of people believe that the basic infrastructure required for EV population is not much developed. "Consumers are very savvy. They want an electric car that can compete with a combustion engine, which can be used for commuting from one city to another. Infrastructure planning is very important in this case." Suhail Nasir, auto expert of Mobile World suggested that private sectors can participate in setting up charging stations at some petrol pumps along the roads between cities.
"We need to completely nullify the idea that Pakistan's infrastructure is not capable of EV. Infrastructure needs to be developed, but it is never pre-developed. " Rather than being frustrated by temporarily inadequate infrastructure, Asif Ahmed, general manager of MG Pakistan, believes that people should be encouraged by Pakistan's unique advantages in developing the EV industry.
"Pakistan is a high insulation country. There is an assessment that if you do investment of one-kilowatt solar power it will produce four-kilowatt power, multiplied by four." Asif Ahmed believes that electricity shortage can be solved with solar energy development.
"For resources, we are also blessed. For example, Chile produces the most lithium in the world. Indonesia produces the most nickel. Both countries are a hub of raw materials for EV batteries. Afghanistan is near us with huge lithium and copper deposit. If we are not richer than these countries in terms of resources, at least we can find raw materials in our neighboring country. It is a directional problem, not a resource problem."
"Ten years ago, when China stepped into the world of cars, it observed that some countries make the best engines, some countries make the best transmission and some countries have the best petrol. The Chinese strategy was that they don't fight for what they do not have, but to bring what others do not have. So China made its EVs. Right now, China is the world's largest seller of electric cars. Pakistan is ideally positioned to grab this opportunity." Asif believes that Chinese experience in developing the EV industry is very instructive.
"Being a part of SAIC motor, our plants are built with the aid of the Chinese. We also have Chinese collaboration in aftersales." Asif told us that the company plans to follow the steps which have been taken by the Chinese automotive industry with the help of SAIC. "In the range of our developing products, we not only have hybrid cars, but also electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The purpose is to satisfy Pakistan's demand to move from conventional engines to energy-efficient engines." He added.