Government prepares Policy for Electric Vehicles

By Nasir Mahmood

The 28th meeting of the Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC) on 19 June is going to discuss the proposals/ recommendations of Policy for Electric Vehicles for ratification and submission to MoIP as comments on the policy.

The Ministry of Climate Change has been tasked by Prime Minister of Pakistan for preparation of Policy for Electric Vehicles. In this regard, Engineering Development Board was advised by Ministry of Climate Change to hold a stakeholders meeting for their viewpoint on 29th May 2019.

Ministry of Climate Change has also circulated the draft policy to concerned Ministries/ departments for comments’ including MoIP.

Informed sources disclosed that the meeting to discuss Electric Vehicle Policy Formulation was held on 29th May under the Chairmanship of Nabeel Hashmi, Member — Board of Management (BoM). After general consensus developed on EV Policy by the stakeholders; the proposal to allow ten companies to import 20,000 EVs at concessionary rate of duty was unanimously regretted.

In view of already announced incentives under ADP 2016-21 and the applications by 3-4 new entrants for EV manufacturing, an alternate tariff structure, especially for four wheelers, was not advisable at this stage. However, the Government may consider sales tax exemption, reduction in registration fee and waiver of annual renewal fee for EVs.

It was resolved that non common parts of EVs with Fossil Fuel Vehicles are to be incentivized for local assembly of EVs or local development of parts through R & D. Localization of lithium ion batteries and other parts specific to EVs should be targeted.

However, initially, concessionary import of only EV specific parts should be allowed whereas remaining parts which are being manufactured locally should not be allowed to be imported at concessionary rate as it is against the interest of already established local industry.

The development of charging infrastructure is to be focused on Public-Private Partnership or by the Government at outlets of oil marketing companies.

Government may consider conversion to EVs in phase-wise manner and separate policies should be prepared by EDB for four segments; Motorcycles and Scooties (Two Wheelers), Rickshaws and Loaders (Three Wheelers), Buses (City Buses and Transport Network), Cars, Light Commercial Vehicles and Sports Utility Vehicles(SUVs).

The phase-wise introduction of EVs will enhance acceptability and facilitate development of local infrastructure for charging in parallel.
In order to reduce pollution, Ministry of Climate Change may devise vehicle phase out plan to curb use of obsolete/older vehicles on national highways and motorways. The fuel consumption and emissions of new vehicles is lesser than obsolete vehicles. Similarly, the Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Pure Hybrid Vehicles etc. should also be encouraged through policy interventions to reduce fuel consumption.

Standardization of EV Specific Equipment is to be ensured. In order to ensure safety, vehicle regulations of UNECE’s WP-29 related to EVs must be adopted.

Government has to encourage preparation and training of workforce in EV specific technologies at universities and technical colleges’ level.
EV manufacturing, import of machinery for EV specific parts manufacturing and export of EVs may be incentivized.

EV Policy, when developed, must take affect after 30 June 2021 i.e. expiry of Automotive Development Policy (ADP 2016-21)

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