When will we see electric cars running on Pakistan roads?

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Pakistan is not well known for adopting new technology and this is one of the reasons why the country lags behind many developed countries. Today when various automobile giants like BMW, Audi and General Motors have started production of electric cars and moving towards cleaner source of fuel, Pakistan is still using conventional fuel consuming cars. Even Tesla motors have been developed with a sole purpose to produce electric cars. Different countries like France, India, China and the UK have all vowed to stop the production of diesel/petrol vehicles by 2040. However, Pakistan is still exploring the traditional coal technology.

Pakistan’s major cities are considered among of the most polluted cities in the world with high traffic congestion and other environmental issues. Vehicle emissions are one of the few top contributors to air pollution, which also cause different respiratory diseases like asthma and lungs cancer. With a growing number of cars, Karachi and Lahore could soon join the list that features New Delhi and Beijing – the two cities that have made global headlines for their worst air quality in the world. In such alarming situation, Pakistan needs to switch from diesel/petrol consuming vehicles to electric cars that are environment-friendly.

Electric cars offer a great number of benefits over traditional petrol/diesel cars. They are eco-friendly as they run on the electrically powered engine. They do not emit toxic gases such as carbon in the environment as they run on the clean energy source. Additionally, they are cost-effective, safe to drive, and reduce noise pollution as they are much quieter.

However, in order to raise awareness about eco-friendly benefits of electric cars over traditional fuel combustion cars, a team of students from Pakistan Navy Engineering College, part of NUST, designed and manufactured Pakistan’s first formula-styled electric car in 2016 which was unveiled by President Mamnoon Hussain.

Rehmat Group, one of the Pakistani business group recently also signed 14 memorandum of understanding (MoU) and made a partnership with different chinese companies to set Electrical Complex at Nooriabad. The complex is aimed to produce mamufacturing plants for battery operated electrical vehicles. The complex will start its venture by developing electrical buses first and then move a step forward to develop two wheelers as well.

But it’s just a start, more automaker companies should come forward and start producing electric cars to change the trend of using fuel combustion cars in Pakistan. We also need to learn from Chinese authorities who have already impressed critics by slowly building a strong infrastructure for all-electric cars. By providing heavy subsidies to the sector, fast registration and free car parking, Chinese authorities have already succeeded in taking their plug-in vehicle sale to over 500,000 units per year in 2016.

Let’s hope, our local car manufacturers would learn the lesson from Chinese auto markets and switch from traditional fuel vehicles to electric vehicles.

by Aqsa Mirza

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