ISLAMABAD: Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Thursday expressed hope that local assembling of electric vehicles (EVs) would start in the country by this year under the prime minister’s clean and green initiative.
Addressing a consultative workshop ‘Scaling up electric Mobility in Pakistan’ organised jointly by National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) and UNDP, the minister said the government has introduced its first national EV policy last year and announced new incentives to promote EV adoption.
“The government reduced the custom duties and sales tax on EV which would help accelerate this transition towards cleaner and efficient mobility,” he added.
The minister said 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 there are some unique challenge that we had to address towards achieving our electric mobility goals. “First, we had to provide reliable supply of power to charge these EVs and this would require to upgrade the grid and distribution network.”
He said the assembling of electric motorbike has already started; however, as it was a new technology and it required charging infrastructure.
He said the private sector has also started developing charging infrastructure in the country and that the government would fully support the private sector in this regard.
Azhar 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 development of charging infrastructure.
He said it would not only reduce billion of dollars oil import bill 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 road transport sector in Pakistan.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, NEECA MD Dr Sardar Mohazzam said that the authority was authorised to define standard of charging station for EV while charging station were being set up in various parts of the country.
However, he said price and standard of voltage for charging EVs has yet to be decided.
On the occasion, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Aliona Niculita, said that transport and energy were priority sectors for UNDP and they would provide full cooperation to the government in this regard.
Separately, in a series of tweets on Thursday, the federal minister informed that Pakistani authorities have requested the Iranian government to normalise its power supply situation, amid load shedding in Balochistan’s coastal region.
“These areas are not connected to the national grid and dependent on Iranian power supply,” said Azhar. The federal minister added that they have taken up the issue with its neighbour and requested them to normalise the power supply.
He further added that work is also in progress on connecting these areas with the national grid. “This involves laying transmission lines for hundreds of kilometers. This project will be completed within two years,” said Azhar.
In a meeting with the Iranian ambassador, he informed that the power outage in some areas of Balochistan is due to power shortfall in Iran.
He urged to restore power supply to Balochistan as soon as possible. The Iranian envoy assured the minister of speedy restoration of power.
Earlier on Wednesday, the secretary Power and CEO QESCO informed the Senate Standing Committee on Power committee that Iran is not supplying 100MW electricity as per the agreement as it is also facing load shedding these days.