With Pakistan’s first-ever and still quite ambitious National Electric Vehicles Policy (NEVP) already approved by the authorities and finally set in place to facilitate the green transformation in the automotive industry, it is time to think about the feasibility of this new eco-friendly plan. At the same time, the industry leaders, government officials, and base consumers have some questions that must be answered before taking the leap of faith for a new EV-powered Pakistan.
In this blog post by Zonergy, our experts will try to explore the core infrastructure-related issues while opting for EVs and present a viable research-oriented solution for them.
Why it is THE time to say no to fossil fuels?
According to a policy document by the Ministry of Climate Change Pakistan, hydrocarbons-powered transportation is one of the biggest causes of Greenhouse Gas emissions, accounting for a whopping 43% of the airborne emissions in the country. The air quality index in most of our developed cities usually stays below the average and we are losing precious lives, talented minds, and a hardworking workforce to this deadly air pollution.
The loss of valuable human resources is then followed by a massive oil import bill of about USD 13 billion. (Just for a quick reference that equals 2,201,980,300,000 in Pakistani Rupees). This heavy oil import bill coupled with the current account deficit has always proven to be a source of disequilibrium for our economic stability and growth.
According to a report by LUMS, if our transport sector continues to grow at the same double-digit rate, the bill for oil import is expected to reach an alarming USD 30 billion by 2025. Ask yourself, are we really able to afford this loss considering the circumstances we are facing?
Electric Vehicles (EVs) – the only possible way out for Pakistan
In order for us to overcome these health, economic, and human resource challenges, we must decrease our dependence on fossil fuels and hydrocarbon-powered vehicles. We must switch to electricity-driven vehicles.
Firstly, EVs do not emit any unhealthy pollutants so their adoption by Pakistani drivers will curb harmful gas emissions to a large extent. Secondly, as the rising trade deficit is one of the major reasons behind stagnant economic growth in Pakistan, shifting to EVs will significantly reduce the oil import bill – which is certainly the largest import commodity for Pakistan. More than that, EVs carry with themselves the potential to set up a whole new manufacturing and services industry in our country, leading to the creation of multiple green businesses and employment opportunities (an estimated 3,000,000 new jobs). And all of that while uplifting the overall socio-economic situation of our country.
Talking about the momentary aspects of this transformation, if the target penetration of the first five years is achieved as planned, Pakistan will conservatively get around PKR 110 Billion yearly in savings and earnings.
Okay, so EVs are the best possible option available at the moment. Now to maximize this transformation’s benefits, we have to make sure that the electricity for EVs should not come from burning fossil fuels or hydrocarbons.
Rather, we should employ the available renewable energy technologies (like solar and wind) to our advantage and use them as our major sources of power, energy, and movement.
Electric Vehicles and Solar Energy – a match made in Heaven!
Expressing the same concern, the CEO of a notable engineering company reported in an interview that 30,000 EVs were estimated to consume 1 percent of Pakistan’s total generation capacity.
That leads us to our next question, how is Pakistan going to power all those sweet eco-friendly EVs? As a starting option, the government can surely rely on grid supply to power up the initial batches of EVs. But this model requires a lot, of infrastructure development and would definitely take quite a long time.
Another simpler, efficient, and quicker solution is to promote and adopt solar energy solutions to facilitate the continued use of EVs among Pakistani consumers.
The fun fact is that only 10 solar panels can yield sufficient electric power to let an EV drive 21,000 kilometers in one year.
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