A $30 billion investment plan by Pakistan kicks off with launch of electric buses across the country
Islamabad: After announcing the first-ever electric vehicle policy in June this year, Pakistan is now all set to introduce battery-powered electric buses in the country and in the first phase, they will run between Islamabad and Lahore.
An agreement was signed between China’s automobile giant, Skywell Automobile and Daewoo Pakistan here today.
Under the Strategic Alliance Agreement Skywell Automobile will be setting up an electric vehicles chain throughout Pakistan and according to Science & Technology (S&T) Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the ultimate goal is to make the buses running on roads in Pakistan reach zero-emission standards.
“Since Pakistan is moving towards an electrical vehicle regime, these new fuel-driven vehicles will help the country achieve that goal at a fast-speed,” said Fawad Chaudhry at the agreement signing ceremony.
Earlier, in a tweet Chaudhry termed the agreement a big leap towards the fulfillment of another promise. “Pakistan will be having electric buses from this year and in the next three years we shall be in a position to manufacture them locally,” said Chaudhry.
According to the S&T ministry, after buses, motorbikes will also be shifted to electric power. Earlier, the very first electric vehicle charging station had also been established at Jinnah avenue Islamabad recently.
$30 billion investment
An automobile industry’s expert Zubair Warraich was of the view that Pakistan’s auto-industry was going to experience fast-track changes in next few years. “We are going to benefit from China’s unprecedented advancement in this sector”, he said adding China’s diesel bus manufacturing company Yutong and electric vehicles manufacturer Skywell were considered world leaders in transport sector.
The company is going to make an investment of US$30 billion for provision of bus units and to improve the country’s transport infrastructure, he said.
This is not only going to give a boost to our economy but will also generate hundreds and thousands of new jobs as well as employment and investment opportunities, he said.
Daewoo’s representative Sheriar Hussain said Pakistan’s transport industry is going through transition from diesel buses to hybrid. “We have seen in Peshawar’s BRT buses and now from hybrid to electric buses regime. Above all, its impact on our environment would be quite positive”, he said.
From hybrid to battery-powered buses
The environment has been the central point of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto and the government has been working to promote the presence of environment-friendly vehicles and improve air quality in the big cities of the country.
Federal Minister for Power Division Umar Ayub Khan at the time of inaugurating the first electric vehicle charging station in July had announced that the government would be setting up 24 more electric vehicle charging stations across the country shortly.
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