Pakistan’s first electric vehicle (EV) policy hasn’t gone down well with the local automobile industry.
Almost all of the relevant auto-sector patrons have called the move an “ad hoc decision”. They agree with the decision to introduce electric cars in Pakistan, but not at the expense of the domestic industry.
A soured Japanese carmaker said,
We are unable to understand who has drafted and approved such a policy. The approval came as a shock to domestic automobile players whose consent was not sought by government officials on this key issue.
The policy that was approved yesterday by the federal cabinet will see 100,000 cars brought into the country over the next five years. Earlier, the government had shared its objectives of transforming 30% of cars to EVs by 2030 and imposing only a 1% general sales tax on their imports.
Furthermore, electric cars can be registered for free in a bid to make them reasonably priced for a large number of people.
“We were informed by government authorities that an electric vehicle policy was under consideration and stakeholders would be consulted before its finalization,” said Hyundai Nishat Motor’s Chief Financial Officer Norez Abdullah.
He added that they had just entered the market in Pakistan and had spent a lot of money to benefit from the Automotive Industry Development Policy 2016-21. He said,
Until yet, we have not collected even a single rupee out of our investments. The overall scenario of the local automobile industry is not encouraging and the government has introduced a new policy.
The auto companies are of the opinion that this can lead to a considerable increase in external debt and move jobs to other countries from Pakistan.
“There are many loopholes in this policy, we are unaware of the investment required to build electric vehicle-friendly infrastructure in order to save around $2 billion in oil imports,” Abdullah said.
The policy came under fire from auto parts manufacturers as well, with Muhammad Akram, Chairman Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers, saying that the new policy will only create confusion as there already is an active auto development policy in place.
From the looks of it, auto manufacturers don’t seem too happy with the policy as electric cars will be a lot cheaper under this new policy. We will have to wait and see how the government responds to the auto companies.