Electric vehicle push struggles to accelerate in Pakistan

(Reuters, 11 Mar 2020) Imran Khan's government is pushing for greener transport, to curb air pollution and climate change, but traditional automakers fear being left behind

As Pakistan's first-ever electric three-wheeled rickshaws start to roll off the assembly line, the country is struggling to build momentum for its shift to electric vehicles in efforts to cut air pollution and curb climate change.

It has been four months since Prime Minister Imran Khan's cabinet approved the National Electric Vehicle Policy, offering tax exemptions and incentives to manufacturers, importers and buyers of electric vehicles.

But pushback by traditional automakers has stalled the government's finalising of the policy, leaving electric vehicle (EV) makers worried that eco-friendly cars, vans, motorcycles and rickshaws will remain too expensive for the mass market.

"The electric rickshaws have comparatively much lower running and maintenance costs," said Syed Ismail Ghaznavi, sales head at Sazgar Engineering Works Limited, which launched the country's first electric rickshaw in January.

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Reuters, 11 Mar 2020: Electric vehicle push struggles to accelerate in Pakistan