Future of Electric Cars in Pakistan – Tesla Model 3 Instead Of Honda Vezel Or Toyota Prius

Tesla Model 3

This title might have caught you off guard, but I will explain how electric cars might all make sense to Pakistan. Auto-market of Pakistan may not be the most competitive, but there is one thing our market does the best. If we get something which can save us money, we can make that thing go viral. It happened when CNG made its way to Pakistan; it just had one thing up its sleeve, and that was its insane affordability. ‘Affordability’ is such an important factor in our market that we as consumers throw all caution to the wind. CNG cylinders were unsafe, they took more time to refill, they reduced performance and a car would barely go 200KM on a single cylinder, but who cares, as long as it’s cheaper to run.

Also Read: Tesla Model 3 Revealed

Same thing happened when hybrid cars made their way to Pakistan. They were more expensive than their equivalent non-hybrid vehicles, they had little or no after sales service, most of them had thousands of kilometers on the odometer since they were 2nd hand used cars, and they had unconventional design language, but again as long as it’s cheap to run, we would buy them. These two past successes, make me think why not an electric car in Pakistan?

Since the unveiling of Tesla Model 3, I couldn’t be more convinced that it sure can happen within the next five years. Model 3, unveiled last month would not hit the roads globally before 2018, but when it does, I am convinced that even before it becomes officially available in Pakistan, our auto market would greet it with open arms and would get it running on our roads like what happened with Toyota Prius and Honda Vezel.

First question that comes to mind is: ‘How much would it cost?’

On the reveal of Model 3, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk assured that Model 3 base variant would be for $35000 (around 36lac rupees) when it hits the road in 2018. And since electric cars are duty-free in Pakistan, and we hope they remain duty-free in the future since they dramatically reduce oil imports for a country, even after adding freight costs a Model 3 should not cost more than 45lac rupees in Pakistan. Today, seeing loads of people willing to pay PKR 34 lac or more for a used Honda Vezel and PKR 38 lac for a new Audi A3, I would not be surprised to see Pakistani auto consumers signing up for an all-electric Model 3 for 45 lac rupees. Also keeping in mind the rising car prices of our auto market, Honda Vezel, Toyota Prius and Audi A3 might all be over 40lac rupees by 2018, whilst Model 3 price would not change at all until the time it hits the road.

Next up: ‘What is it capable of?’

Tesla Model 3 is currently in its beta stage which means some things of the car might change before its public release especially its interior and dashboard. Elon Musk confirmed that it is set to improve dramatically before production. Things that would remain constant for the base variant are:

  • A $35000 price tag when it hits the road in 2018
  • At least 215mile range (350km)
  • 0-60mph (100km/h) of under 6 seconds
  • Autopilot standard on all variants
  • Much of the exterior design
  • 15inch widescreen touch screen
  • All glass roof from windshield to trunk

All of that seems pretty solid for a car that would be in 40lac range by 2018 with Tesla promising much more to come before it goes on sale.

Tesla Model 3 Reveal

Tesla Model 3 Reveal

You might be thinking that I am making a big deal about a car that will not hit the global market for the next two years. But before you go too far, the following paragraphs would outline why I really think it already has what it takes to create inroads in Pakistani auto circuit.

At the beginning of my article, I mentioned the success of CNG and hybrid cars in Pakistan and that the only reason for their success was their affordability. So how does Model 3 stack up against the competition? I’ll compare price, 0-100km/h times, fuel consumption estimates, per kilometer fuel cost and engine/motor output for the three gasoline/hybrid cars that are currently available in Pakistan for 30-40lac rupees in comparison with Model 3.

Audi A3

Audi A3

Audi A3

  • Price of new (as of April 2016): PKR. 38lac                        
  • Engine output: 138HP
  • 0-100km/h: 9.4 seconds
  • Estimated Fuel consumption (Km/l): 20Km/l
  • Cost per liter of fuel in Pakistan (as of April 2016): PKR. 64.27/l
  • Estimated Per Kilometer fuel cost: 64.27/20= PKR. 3.21/Km

Honda Vezel Hybrid

Honda Vezel

Honda Vezel

  • Estimated Price of used (as of April 2016): PKR. 34-38lac
  • Engine+Motor output: 130HP+30HP=160HP
  • 0-100km/h: 8.5 seconds
  • Estimated Fuel consumption (Km/l): 27Km/l
  • Cost per liter of fuel in Pakistan (as of April 2016): PKR. 64.27/l
  • Estimated Per Kilometer fuel cost: 64.27/27= PKR. 2.38/Km

Toyota Prius Hybrid

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

  • Price of new (as of April 2016): PKR. 45lac
  • Engine+Motor output: 100HP+35HP=135HP
  • 0-100km/h: 11.0 seconds
  • Estimated Fuel consumption (Km/l): 25Km/l
  • Cost per liter of fuel in Pakistan (as of April 2016): PKR. 64.27/l
  • Estimated Per Kilometer fuel cost: 64.27/25= PKR. 2.57/Km

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

  • Estimated Price of new imported (Q1 2018): PKR. 40-45lac
  • Motor output: 350HP
  • 0-100km/h: In less than 6.0 seconds
  • Estimated Electricity consumption (Km/kWh): 350/50=7Km/kWh
  • Cost per kWh (i.e 1 unit) in LESCO (as of April 2016) Peak-off Peak: PKR. 15/9.5
  • Estimated Per Kilometer electricity cost If charged on Peak-off Peak: PKR. 2.1-1.3

Tesla Model 3’s battery would only take 50 units of electricity and five hours to recharge fully from a regular power socket (the same you use to charge your phone!!), and you are good for 350 km. And that means a car with performance and horsepower of a BMW M2 would be cheaper to run than a Suzuki Mehran! Statistics mentioned above hence prove that Model 3 which would fall in the same price range of Audi A3, Toyota Prius, and Honda Vezel, will not only be the cheapest to run but is also by far the fastest, most feature-packed, most fun car to drive and the most beautiful car (pictures speak for themselves) in this price bracket.

 Unlike the issues Toyota Prius Owners faced on Pakistani Roads

Model 3 can take on rough roads

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla would lay a nation-wide super charging network in India

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla would lay a super charging network in India

Moreover, Tesla will officially be launching in India before 2018. Elon Musk has promised for a nationwide Super Charging network (Super Chargers are fast chargers which can give Model 3 a 300Km range in a 15minutes charge and best of all Super Chargers are free to use for Tesla owners.) Tesla launching in India means that Model 3 would be designed, keeping in mind the road conditions of developing countries (which Musk said is not an issue since Air Suspension on Model 3 can change the ride height according to road conditions). In addition to this, a good market response could lead to Tesla launch in Pakistan before we could expect.

As far as maintenance is concerned, electric cars are far too easier to maintain than gasoline cars since they have little mechanical parts and Tesla has long been solving issues with electronics through OTA (over the air) updates, like the ones you get on your smartphones. Furthermore, our auto dealers, importers, and servicers have long been a step ahead in bringing in parts for various imported cars. And they have loads of experience in servicing out of market cars especially due to used Japanese cars in the market. Therefore, I am sure they will figure out ways for Model 3 if it becomes mainstream like we did in the days of CNG and Hybrid cars. And besides, it looks like Tesla’s most affordable car yet, the Model 3, will have a “Ludicrous” mode as well.

I think Tesla Model 3 will be more prepared to dominate the auto market of Pakistan than CNG cars of the past and used Japanese hybrid cars of the present are. Now, I will leave the people of Pakistan to decide what the future might look like for electric cars in our country.

 

Disclaimer:

Tweets, claims, announcements and specifications of Tesla Model 3 mentioned in this article have all been extracted from the official social media accounts and websites of Tesla Motors and CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk
Audi A3 mentioned and compared is the 1.4litre TFSI available from Audi and all specifications and price mentioned are extracted from Audi Pakistan’s official website
Toyota Prius mentioned in this article is the Pakistani imported variant offered officially by Toyota-Indus as well as a few mentions of Japanese Prius
Price of Honda Vezel used have been estimated using classifieds found on PakWheels.com used car section
Honda Vezel’s Fuel consumption and Specifications are extracted from various online sources
Adan Ali

Adan is a Tribe Leader at Drive Tribe, who writes to share his passion for cars, culture and gadgetry through words. So far his writings and contributions have been able to make their way to media outlets like PakWheels and Dawn. Reach out to him by tweeting @adanali12

  • Moaz Malik

    This is a well-thought out and well-argued article. Indeed, times change. 2 years ago fuel was ridiculously expensive, now look at it. Right now, our energy infrastructure is lacking and power generation falls short of nationwide requirement, but what about 2 years from now? Still, I feel that Plug-in Hybrids would make a good intermediate step before the jump to full electric. At the moment I’m only aware of a handful of Prius plug-ins serving in Pakistan. Modern plug-ins like the 2016 Chevy Volt can go 53 miles on a single charge, a clam independently verified by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained. Perhaps we Pakistanis ought to experiment with plug-ins before jumping to range-anxiety inducing electric vehicles?

  • An Engineer

    Great.. I know them… Why not to import Electric Cars from China???? FAW is doing good here , why not we look for Chinese Electric Cars

  • Waleed Ahmed

    I would totally agree on your last point that it’s early to jump on the Electric cars for now as our Electricity isn’t developed yet, The countries in which Electric cars are sold have no idea of what a Load Shedding practically is 😛 they just now it as a dictionary word.
    Also Please elaborate me on this if you can, wouldn’t the A.C. current isn’t suitable for these cars, Because D.C is considered to be of a more high quality current than this?

  • Waleed Ahmed

    Some might say the Idea of this article is Crazy, But I wanna be that crazy 😉 lolzz!!
    I had a little thought about the 0% Duty of electric cars & I am continuously following the NEWS of TESLA Model 3 when I saw a Highly affordable price tag, I must say that your article is Wonderful & you’ve well elaborated almost all the possibilities of Importing Model 3 into Pakistan, We could have Model 3 from UK(RHD), But as below what Moiz said, It’s true that their are many Much Valid points that are need to be considered If we’re being realistic.
    But Good thought!! (Y)

  • Ahmed Hembel

    AC and DC have a long history. The batteries produce DC, so by simple logic, you should be using a DC motor in an EV, but Tesla uses AC induction motor, and as far as I know, Prius and other HEVs by Toyota too use AC (but synchronous) motor, except for the RAV4 EV which uses a motor borrowed from Tesla. The brushless DC motor, which is used in EVs such as electric scooters, rickshaws etc. does not run on a pure DC input, in short, the driving circuit is topologically very similar to AC motors. And the details can get very long (I will try to write an article explaining all). There are usage areas where AC is good (such as electricity distribution) and areas where DC is preferable (low voltages, short distances).
    If you are asking about charging via AC or DC, AC is what is available in a 220V socket in our homes. However, the battery needs DC to charge, so AC is converted to DC before charging, hence no harm to the batteries. Plus, Tesla can charge via a number of input and Elon states that the on-board charger will find the fastest way to charge the batteries on a given input. I am not sure if that works for DC inputs though. Hope that clears your concern 🙂

  • Ahmed Hembel

    Very nicely put. The affordability argument is really something. Keeping in view that people will self import Teslas (if they ever come here), and that we are not a very big market, you should rule out the possibility of getting supercharger network in Pakistan. But with a range of 350 km, and a charging time of 10 hrs (lets realistically assume that electricity is available for 12 hrs/day), you can charge at night and drive to work and back even if you live in Lahore and work in Faisalabad, or you can go to Islamabad from Lahore on a single charge, take a night’s rest, charge the car, go to Murree, come back to Islamabad, charge again, come back to Lahore 😀 Maybe I am getting too excited. All I want to say is that this is possible. The only problem is battery life, which is there with the Prius too and we can see that nobody cares about that, for now.

  • Ahmed Hembel

    And I didn’t know EVs have zero duty in Pakistan, any sources on that?

  • Fazal Wahab

    The price tag will not be 35000.. It is the price after tax incentive [7500 to 15000 US dollars] that too for US buyers/residents and that too is almost expired.. Anywhere else outside United Sates it will cost you above 50K that too for base model and without any tax and duties.. Also Tesla sells only via their own network/ showrooms, it cant be sold by dealers.. Like Tesla Model X have a long wait line and you can buy a used one from private sellers if someone is willing to sell. There is model X used available at cost of near 200K [80K premium ] while it is less than 120K new. If you order model X today, you will not get one before spring of 2017. Model 3 has a preorder over 400K. so you can imagine a wait. Also the US buyer will get Model 3 starting 2018.. than Europe somewhere in 2019 then anywhere else where Tesla is already established…. Anyone want to import one will not be able to get one before 2020 that too a used one.. Good Luck looking for one..

  • Guest

    “you can buy a used one from private sellers”
    “model X used available at cost of near 200K [80K premium ] while it is less than 120K new”

    Methods of saying “on-money” nicely. Different countries, different cultures, different methods.

  • Moaz Malik

    Ahmed already gave a great answer. I’d just like to add that as far as I know, all modern plug-ins and electric vehicles charge just fine from regular power outlets, the same kind you’d use to charge your phone. Dedicated charging stations, whether installed at your home or elsewhere, greatly reduce the charging time but are not, strictly speaking, required.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    OH. MY. GOD. !

    THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS !

    we NEED to use China more !

    also , im an Engineer as well. which discipline are u from ?

  • Muhammad Yasir

    we need cheap electric cars imported from china. cost NO MORE than a million PKR and no less than 1 Lac PKR. Period

  • Muhammad Yasir

    hory shet … you must be bill gates level rich !

  • Fazal Wahab

    Well.. you don’t need to be Bill Gates rich to buy a car here..

  • Muhammad Yasir

    Tesla … is expensive :/

  • Bitter Truth

    Yahan na Bijli hai aur na pani and you are taking about Tesla motors. Subha hogai uth ja yar office nai jana keya ?

  • Baber

    What are you so saying. It has a range of 350 KMs on a single full recharge that means, to most people, a single recharge will at least last 2-3 days easy. And like how we charge our mobiles, you can charge it each night to make up the depleted charge. Plus the supercharger will mean that the car can be fully recharged within an hour. Itni to bijli hay na? Yeh comment bhi to type kiya aapnay bijli k zariye? Ajeeb attitude hay towards technology.

  • Abdul Basith

    Audi A3 is 1.2 liters in pakistan. its output is somewhere between 105 to 110 not 138. i am not sure if vezel can do 0-100 in 8.5 seconds either.

  • Hafeez

    Poor n cheap minded people…….din me jo 16 se 18 ghantay bijli ati ha….phir bhi bijli aur pani nahi ha????
    Aur ye comment jis device se kiya ha vo hawa se chalti ha kya ????

  • Hafeez

    Mehran is there…….

  • Aneef Izhar

    Let’s start by importing Nissan Leaf EV. Shall we?

  • Aneef Izhar

    Also we’ll plug-in our EVs at our offices while we work 9-5 😀 Free fuel 😀 I’m going crazy too thinking about this EV stuff

  • Aneef Izhar

    Well just saw Nissan Leaf’s price on its website. It’s about 29-30k USD. So Tesla would be a better choice lol

  • Muhammad Yasir

    i’d rather go to hell than buy that piece of horribly over-priced SHIT !

  • Shahzaib

    Good researched article!
    The fact based comparative analysis was helpful.
    It is an absolutely conceivable idea, which will bring far reaching environmental & economic benefits to Pakistan.

  • Shahid Aziz

    Please leave this country and never come back again

  • haatib

    guys its pretty cheap to run this car consider if one unit of electricity cost pkr20 and tesla model 3 needs 50 units for one full charge and if one full charge last u 5 days and for one month(30 days) u need 6 charges and 6 charges equal to 300 units so 20×300=6000rupees but the problem is that u can only use it for shorter distance for now because there no single ev charging station in Pakistan

  • haatib

    guys best of all it has autopilot(autonomous) mode so if u don’t want to drive then car will take u

Top