The regulatory duty (RD) SRO on the import of electric vehicles (EVs) has expired, prompting a debate regarding the viability of EV imports. Given that Pakistan is quickly losing foreign exchange reserves and the economy is on the verge of crashing, people are largely skeptical of this development.
After SRO1571(I)/2022 ended on November 21, 2022, the prices of EVs dropped by a large amount. Audi, in particular, reduced the prices of the E-Tron by about Rs. 20 million. Likewise, several other carmakers reduced the prices of their EVs following the RD abolishment.
This has also sparked rumors which suggest that people who held off their luxury EV imports in foreign countries, may begin importing them now that the RD has expired.
Analysts also reckon that the abolishment of RDs on EV imports may unleash a tidal wave of premium EV imports, which may also lead to a new SRO. They also speculated that this development will cause foreign exchange to dip further.
Environmentalists argued that imposing RD’s on imports is foolish as they are environmentally friendly. Analysts argue that Pakistan gets most of its electricity from fossil fuels. Therefore, the launch of EVs will not decrease the carbon footprint.
Mashood Ali Khan, an expert in the auto industry, told The News that the deteriorating economy will force the government to restrict EV imports.
Import of finished and luxury products is not feasible for Pakistan. Even imported electric buses are not feasible.
Khan stated that the government should focus on enabling car production in Pakistan instead of enabling imports of completely built-up (CBU) cars.