Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomePakistanPakistan Set to Introduce Localized Electric Rickshaws

Pakistan Set to Introduce Localized Electric Rickshaws

The production of electric vehicle (EV) rickshaws is set to begin in Pakistan in the coming months, aiming to reduce prices to around Rs400,000-500,000 per unit. This will be the first time in the country’s history that locally made EV rickshaws will be introduced to lower prices. Currently, imported Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) kits of EV rickshaws cost Rs1 million per unit in the local market.

According to the Express Tribune, making more parts locally will significantly reduce costs and the import bill. Importing CKD kits from China is challenging because each container can only hold 20 to 25 kits, and transportation costs are high, making fully imported rickshaws unaffordable at Rs1 million for local drivers.

Market sources indicate that four to five companies based in Lahore will soon launch their EV rickshaws. Representatives from Chinese companies have been in Pakistan, discussing agreements with local auto manufacturers. By the end of this year, EV rickshaws might be seen on Pakistan’s roads.

Experts have emphasized the importance of localizing parts of the auto industry to protect the struggling sector and offer better quality and prices to consumers.

The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) reported a decline in sales of all vehicles, except for a significant increase in farm tractor sales recently.

Auto Sector Expert and Analyst Muhammad Sabir Sheikh believes the EV industry is the future of the country, as fewer people are willing to invest in fuel-driven vehicles. He noted that customers are gradually shifting towards EVs, following trends in modern countries.

“Assembling rickshaws is relatively simple, with many parts like the main body, frame, and chassis easily manufacturable. The motor controller, motor, and battery can be imported initially until the technology is fully transferred. These EV rickshaws will also have solar panels on their roofs for daytime charging,” Sheikh said.

Sheikh added that several companies specializing in three-wheelers have already imported some CKD kits for successful test drives. Once these rickshaws are marketed and sold, there will be a high demand due to their low maintenance. Eventually, drivers will be able to recover the cost of the EV rickshaws.

Auto Analyst and IBA Assistant Professor Dr. Aadil Nakhoda highlighted the need to understand what ‘localization’ means.

“We must ensure that local players are globally competitive, not just domestically. High tariffs and protection shift the cost of inefficiencies to the consumer. Localization without technology transfer may lead to low-quality and outdated technologies being dumped here. We need quality checks, certifications, and inspections, not tariffs and import restraints. Policies should protect consumers’ rights, giving them access to the best quality products at the lowest price. Localization should be analyzed throughout the supply chain, as some local suppliers depend on imported inputs that may be more costly,” Nakhoda said.

He concluded that all localization policies should aim to develop a competitive sector. It’s better to invest in businesses’ capabilities and improve facilitation rather than focusing on short-term gains.

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