Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that electric-powered buses would be introduced in Pakistan this year.
The Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service has signed an agreement with a Chinese manufacturer, Skywell Automobile, to set up electric vehicles value chain in Pakistan.
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing attended the signing ceremony in Islamabad.
“Our transport and energy sector relies a lot on fossil fuel which has caused pollution in many major cities but we can limit this pollution through electric vehicles,” Deputy Chairman Mandviwalla said. “China is ready to cooperate with the private sector and now we need car and bus manufacturers to step up for this initiative and try to produce electric cars themselves.”
Ambassador Yao Jing said that investment in Pakistan’s private sector was being promoted everywhere and foreign investors were given concessions to invest capital. “Through CPEC, China helped set up energy plants which helped solve the energy crisis and now these eco-friendly cars would bring more prosperity to Pakistan,” he said.
Chaudhry noted that in winters, it becomes difficult to travel on the roads of Lahore because of air pollution. These electric vehicles would lower the pollution levels, according to him.
“Pakistan would be the first Asian country to launch electric buses and in the future, we might also introduce self-driving cars,” the minister said. “In the next 15 days, we will introduce e-policy for four wheelers.”
Many automobile companies around the world are investing in electric-powered vehicles as it is a great way to fight climate change and benefits non-oil producing countries like Pakistan to save on their imports.
The government has been actively working on introducing electric vehicles in Pakistan. Last year, it signed an MoU with ride-hailing service Airlift to introduce electric-powered buses.