Auto industry wants long term policy to promote hybrid cars

The auto industry has demanded the government to develop a long term policy for promoting hybrid cars in the country.
The demands were made by auto parts manufacturers and industry experts while addressing media here at the Auto Industry Workshop 2022. During the workshop, which was organized by Indus Motor Company (IMC) they talked about the effectiveness of successive auto policies, factors affecting prices in the auto sector and the launch of locally assembled hybrid vehicles.
Apart from the hybrid based vehicles, the industry also wants a broad based industrial policy for the period of at least 20 years not only to attract the Foreign Direct Investment in the field of steel, resin, light engineering etc but also to promote raw material production in the country.
The speakers highlighted that automotive industry was one of the fastest-growing industries in the country and accounts for over 2-3 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, however there was a need to devise long term policies to protect the country from external shocks.
“This would strengthen the local value addition in the whole production chain,” CEO IMC Ali Asghar Jamali said.
He said that the high prices of vehicles in Pakistan was due to unprecedented inflationary pressures globally in the last couple of years, as pandemic resulted in disruption of the international supply chain which was worsened further by Russia-Ukraine conflict, high fuel rates, increased freight charges etc.
Adding to the pressures was the decline in value of rupee, increase in utilities, and up to 40 percent taxes at auto industry in Pakistan.
Solution to our economic problems lies in Make in Pakistan. It will only help achieve macroeconomic economic goals of GDP increase, employment generation, exports boost and imports reduction. Auto industry being the mother of all industries can play a pivotal role in it, provided, Government ensures predictable and transparent policies.
It was highlighted by the experts that introduction of Hybrid technology will add a new dimension to localization in Pakistan, in terms of saving foreign exchange and reducing the petroleum import bill, but at the same time Pakistan was not ready for the introduction of Electric Vehicles due to lack of infrastructure.
Meanwhile CEO IMC said that the company was the torch bearer of ‘Make in Pakistan’ philosophy, and continuing with the legacy, Toyota has already invested $100 million to produce Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) in Pakistan, but local assembly of EV was a long term goal.
The CEO said that Toyota is a pioneer in modern HEV vehicle technology which can be gauged by the fact that 16 million HEV sold out by Toyota globally. It has a series–parallel hybrid technology which is superior and best in class. “Future holds an array of hybrid benefits. Heavy vehicles like trucks will also use a hybrid system in future,” he added.
Jamali said that IMC was increasing production capacity to meet increasing customer demands while suppliers are also requested to cap up their capacities to meet future demands as the company aims to produce over 90,000 vehicles in 2022 with 100 percent efficiency and overtime, while adding, “We are putting extra effort and time currently to produce vehicles more than our current capacity.”
Various experts highlighted that with existing power generation mix HEVs can help cap carbon emission, reduction in oil import bill and contribute to the localization of auto sector.
All major auto manufacturers are working on HEVs and the efficiency of HEVs will further increase in future as safety features will be added in new generation HEVs or other vehicles.
Meanwhile responding to a question Mr Jamali said that the electric vehicles depended on
electricity and Pakistan was producing 62 percent of electricity from fossil fuels with up-to 30 percent line losses.
“The EVs will increase local LNG, coal and crude oil imports while investment for improving distribution and creating a charging infrastructure would also be required,” he said.
Therefore, he added, based on current infrastructure and forex conditions HEV is the best solution for Pakistan.
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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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