The automotive industry in Pakistan may be microscopic in scale and volume when compared to some of the bigger markets around the world but the global focus on electric mobility has not gone un-noticed here. While the country's government - led by Prime Minister Imran Khan - has revealed an intent to usher in electric vehicles (EVs), local players are keen on incentives before they opt to go down this road.
(Also read: Islamabad gets its first EV charging infrastructure)
According to reports in the country's media outlets, several local car makers have asked policy makers in the country for a number of measures to be put into place before hybrid and EVs can be manufactured locally. This, according to them, would enable the government to realize its goal of having at least 30% vehicles operating on batteries by the year 2030. Some of the suggests reportedly include removing locally-made EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids from the ambit of federal excise duty. Call for reduction in custom duty for parts has also been renewed.
Manufacturers mostly agree that the Pakistani government is encouraging local players to look at manufacturing EVs but also highlight that encouragement alone is not sufficient unless the move makes business sense.
While the objective of having more and more EVs on its roads is in line with the rising efforts for clean mobility options around the world, Pakistan may have a steeper climb because of its economic woes. The country's financial position was jittery as is but troubles have only been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. Taxes earned from the automotive industry is crucial and any cuts here will - while bolstering the confidence of the industry - has the potential of having other and larger ramifications.