Challenges electric vehicles will face in Pakistan


The increasing pollution due to a large number of running combustion engines has forced the world to switch to eco-friendly vehicles as an alternative. The need for conventional fuel also decreases with the evolution of electric vehicles around the world. The demand for electric vehicles has significantly gone higher in the past few years due to its eco-friendly qualities. The reduction in air pollution has been the breakthrough point in making way for electric vehicles in the global market. Electric vehicles unlike combustion engine vehicles; generate power with the help of electric batteries which eliminates the process of combustion. Many famous automakers around the world have started to produce electric vehicles as the future of the automobile industry. The sales of electric cars around the world crossed 3 million units in the last year which clearly shows the trend globally. In Pakistan, no appreciable initiative has been taken so far in promoting electric vehicles. The world has moved beyond while Pakistan is still looking to sell its conventional combustion vehicles. To keep the environment clean and safe, the auto industry of Pakistan will eventually have to shift to the electric vehicles. Keeping this in mind, it could be a roller coaster ride; once launched, to sustain the popularity of electric vehicles in Pakistan. The major challenges electric vehicles will have to face in Pakistan are mentioned as follows:

Electricity shortfall:

With an increasing crisis of electricity shortfall in Pakistan, it’s not an easy call to introduce and keep the popularity of electric vehicles on the roads of Pakistan. The country is already unable to meet its electricity needs in the commercial and industrial sector. The new government has now started to look seriously into this matter and promises to construct dams in near future to meet the energy crisis. In the current situation, it’s next to impossible to make electric vehicles popular among the people of Pakistan. In this context, Pakistan government needs to take necessary steps in providing electricity to the consumers of electric cars in future. It’s none less than a huge challenge faced by the industry of electric vehicles in Pakistan.

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The big-three automakers:

The three local auto assemblers (Honda, Toyota, Suzuki) share the highest investment in the auto industry of Pakistan. If electric vehicles gain popularity in Pakistan, it would put a huge impact on the sales of these auto manufacturers. Keeping in view, these local auto-manufacturers would not allow the boom of electric vehicles take over the auto industry in Pakistan. The government should allow the necessary facilities for the industry of electric vehicles to let them make their way. It’s a global cause to save the environment from air pollution which is causing global warming to an alarming situation.

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Costly and long battery charging:

It needs a considerable amount of time to charge the electric batteries of these vehicles which is a negative prospect in this regard. The charging cost of these batteries could also cause discouragement among people to buy electric vehicles. Low-cost charging stations are the source of the popularity of electric vehicles around the world. Statistics show that the countries with low-cost charging stations have the maximum number of sales of electric vehicles. To promote the electric vehicles, a few countries have also initiated with free of cost charging stations. In Pakistan, where the electricity is already very costly for residential or commercial purposes; it’s impossible to provide low-cost charging stations for EVs. Moreover, a majority of the population in Pakistan cannot afford the high cost of charging on their tight budget. It will not be easy to convince the consumers to buy electric vehicles in current prevailing circumstances in Pakistan. The government needs to plan a favorable policy in order to seek the attention of customers in bringing electric vehicles to Pakistan. Since fuel prices are already on the high side which may convince the people to switch to electric vehicles if consumer-friendly and cost-effective charging stations are built.

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Driving range per charge:

Another challenge that looms over the popularity of electric vehicles in Pakistan is the driving range over one cycle of battery charging. The range of different cars vary according to their capacity but still lags far behind the range of a conventional car with a fuel tank and combustion engine. It’s very important for the electric vehicles industry to offer a sufficient amount of driving range to attract the attention of customers in Pakistan. Many people are concerned about the fact that electric vehicle will not meet their day to day needs to go long distances in a single charge which needs to be solved before the electric vehicle’s industry steps in introducing cars in Pakistan.

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Inconsistent government strategies:

The inconsistent and changing strategies of government regarding the auto industry could also turn against the scope of electric vehicles in Pakistan. The government has not taken any appraisable steps in promoting electric vehicles in the country. Rather the changing policy of each government has dented the chances of making a simpler way for electric cars in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is looking to replace the combustion engine vehicles with the eco-friendly electric vehicles. Our government should also look to streamline a strategy regarding the promotion of eco-friendly alternative in Pakistan.

Pakistan should look forward to developing strategies to change the tradition and promote the eco-friendly electric vehicles to help the cause of saving our environment. The combustion engines have badly polluted our environment with a growing demand for vehicles in Pakistan. Moreover, the skyrocketing fuel prices in Pakistan also encourage people to shift to electric vehicles in Pakistan. Without any emissions, electric vehicles are truly a clean source of energy. This is also the only way we can improve the quality of air and reduce pollution in Pakistan. There is a need to bring awareness among the people regarding advantages of electric vehicles over combustion engine vehicles. A majority of people lack the basic knowledge related to electric vehicles. It’s a great initiative with a few local auto manufacturers like Al-Haj, in an agreement with Malaysian automaker Proton, already set to launch electric cars in Pakistan. This would be an opening for other local auto manufacturers to invest in launching electric cars in Pakistan. What do you think of the scope of electric vehicles in Pakistan? Don’t forget to drop your thoughts in the comments section below.


Ahmad Shehryar

An Electrical Engineer by profession who writes automotive content at Pakwheels and a photographer.

Notable Replies

  1. do you have a supporting infrastructure?

    btw - why just air pollution? - are we just copycats? - gora sb did this, so we shall too.

    what about ground water pollution, poisoning of the water table, noise pollution..

    we have people dumping engine coolant and engine oils right onto the ground and drains. I never saw PW put that up. why just this small thing

  2. AOA

    Please make a comprehensive review on Brake Pads brands, test Air and Oil filter Brands, Engine Oil and grade brand suitable for which car, fuel filters, test the fuel quality of known stations by driving the car and give a verdict on which station provides the quality fuel! conduct a survey on which workshop is honest etc etc etc!!!! can we change from mineral to synthetic oil and what would be the outcome etc etc?

    There are soo many projects/topics Pakwheels can look into but all i see is a dozen repeated articles on United Bravo,
    importance of EV car in Pakistan (seriously! last night i could barely sleep due to frequent power outage!)
    this car is going to be launched! that car is going to be launched soon!!!!!
    which cars are going to be launched between 2020-2100!!!

    Everyday I open the website, i see at least 2-3 topics on recommended engine oil for their cars. the most repeated question. what i believe is to make a comprehensive review/report on the oils in a simple english and urdu language! even i face this dilemma during oil change!

    Thanks

    One more thing i forgot to mention is to conduct an experiment on tires, which the nosiest, quietest, rugged, reliable, fuel saving etc etc

  3. May be a very few Pakistanis would compare tesla with mehran, any how you have compared, allow me to increase your knowledge in a few areas,
    Tesla is the most expensive EV brand of USA with auto drive satellite navigation and other feature in its top of the line models, let’s talk of Nissan leaf which cost around 30,000$ (05 year old cost around 5000$ in Japan) it’s a basic electric car, which can be compared with altis , civics, vezel etc widely used on Pakistani roads,
    Nobody says electric cars are maintenance free rather EVs such Nissan leaf has very less maintenance cost as compared to above mentioned ICE cars.
    Engine has limited life, whereas electric motors in cars are life long
    Zero engine oil
    No plug change
    No no engine air filter
    It doesn’t have any transmission (cvt , automatic, manual),to figure out same you have to wait until one arrives at your garage.
    Yes it has 1:8 reduction gear or differential gear, which takes about 1.5 litre normal gear oil which has 150000 miles range.
    Glycol based coolant used in EVs face less temperatures variations as compared to fuel burning engine and has 15 years life recommended by OEM.
    Due to regenerative braking brake pads are rarely used hence last for hundred thousands kms .
    Wheel bearings, rack and pinion, greasing. Since all joints are well protected with rubber boots ,hence it can be done after multiple years like normal vehicles but rarely required and less expensive.
    Yes brake fluid requires regular changing like in normal vehicles to keep moisture out of brake lines.
    You forgot to mention tyres and wiper blades, these are require to be changed as and when req.
    We know 70-80% energy is wasted through exhaust and cooling system of engine vehicle, in case of an EV around 10% of same is required to run it.
    I believe EVs would be running around the cities in next 4-5 years, yes due to growing EV nos in future, electricity demand will rise, but on the other hand fuel import bill of govt will be decreased, it takes electricity wattage equal to 1.5 ton ac to get it charged in 7-8 hours and move around 200 kms is not an expensive deal,
    As far suvs are concerned, with the advancement in battery technology such solid state the range is expected to increase by 1000km and people will start replacing these gas guzzler with electric ones.

  4. Nissan leafs have terrible batteries because they are not actively cooled like the Tesla - which render them useless after a few years - I see thousands of Nissan leafs going to the crusher because of this.

    It also is terrible in cities like Houston, because of its microscopic drive range (avg commute in Houston is 80 miles for anyone), Furthermore, these cars weigh a lot and have accelerated wear on the suspension parts (about 20K miles for a set of ball joints on a Tesla or Nissan leaf - or any other electric) Same with other suspension parts too - lots of money being generated by shops on this - normal cars have balljoints replaced at 100K (except toyota who make scrap metal balljoints which fail in 15K), electric barges at 20K max

    150K miles for a transaxle oil change in a tesla?? - meaning you will buy a new trans - dexron VI when used exclusively in a diff without active cooling means you will be draining tar at 150K miles - lol

    dude - I have worked on Teslas, they are trash when it comes to usability - e.g. when you get a flat, they expect you to call tow service - literally dont bother with even a pump. - because apparently cars are never meant to be driven outside the city.

    please get real, stop reading the hype machine and drinking the provided lassi. Electric vehicles in 3rd world countries like pk will always remain a pipedream because we still are stuck with animal carriages and monstrosities like ricksha and qingqi - (please englighten me which safety regulation qingqi follow?)

  5. Pretty much all major automakers who are investing billions in EVs plus dozens of countries (rich and poor) who have given deadlines to go completely electric are wrong...

    Angry uncle is right.

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