Pakistan takes a big stride towards electrifying the country’s automobile industry, as Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the country’s the first locally-made electric motorbike (e-bike) on Thursday, which was part of the government’s electric vehicles policy.
Addressing the launching ceremony at the lawns of the Prime Minister House, Prime Minister Imran said that the government was working on an eco-friendly roadmap for the country to save the future generations from the negative effects of climate change and global warming.
The launch of the e-bike is part of the government’s five-year Pakistan Electric Vehicles Policy 2020-25 approved last year and envisaged targeting a robust electric vehicle market with a 30% and 90% share in passenger vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks by 2030 and 2040, respectively.
Manufactured by a Pakistani company, Jolta Electric, the e-bike will be available in various models from JE-Scooty to JE-Sports Bike. The e-bike is energy-efficient and can be charged overnight with other features such as no clutch and gear and low maintenance.
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Imran said the governments of economically strong countries always worked on long-term policies, rather than those making decisions based on an election-to-election strategy to gain votes and promote mafias.
“We have to take action today to resolve the upcoming challenges,” the prime minister told the ceremony. “We will devise sustainable policies on environmental protection to materialise the vision of a Clean and Green Pakistan,” he added.
Speaking about the environmental issues, Imran noted that deforestation and pollution were the man-made problems that were leading to horrendous effects on human lives. He recalled that Lahore and Peshawar, once known as the Cities of Gardens, were now witnessing high levels of airborne toxins.
The prime minister said the government’s electric vehicle policy would be export-orientated and encourage the economic growth by using local raw materials in order to manufacture indigenous products.
Besides, he added, being helpful in reducing pollution, the electric vehicle sector would open up an entirely new sector in the country and generate employment opportunities. With interest shown by 17 more companies, Imran hoped the electric vehicles sector would get a big boost in the near future.
He lauded Executive Director Jolta Electric Dr Muhammad Amjad and the government’s team for promoting the “futuristic” and eco-friendly policies in the country. On the occasion, Industries Minister Khusro Bakhtiar said that three companies had been given licenses to manufacture electric bikes.
He said that Africa, Central Asia and Afghanistan would be the target areas for Pakistan to export its products in line with its auto-development and export policy. He added that a regulatory framework would be outlined to manage the area of electric automobiles and the related charging infrastructure.
Dr Amjad said his company would manufacture five variants of the Jolta e-bikes having different speed specifications from 10 to 60 kilometres per hour. He added that 100% indigenous electric bikes would help save the owner Rs 4,000 per month due to the inexpensive fuel mode.