AS part of its energy conservation plan approved most recently by the cabinet, the federal government has devised a scheme to produce one hundred thousand e-bikes in eighteen months.
The Ministry of Industries and Production has reportedly proposed a subsidy of Rs 17.5 billion to encourage the purchase of these comparatively costlier bikes.
According to some estimates, the ordinary motorbikes consume petrol of three billion dollars annually.
Hence shifting to e-bikes will help cut not only the energy import bill but also further reduce carbon emissions as the electric bikes are more environment friendly.
To encourage the use of e-bikes, the government has very rightly considered various schemes including provision of loans to the people.
As the electric bikes will significantly save the fuel/commuting costs, this amount can be then used in payment of monthly instalments of the bank loan.
We have no doubt in saying that once these bikes are in the market, the people, especially the students and the office goers, will rush for it, pushing the ordinary bikes in the annals of history, but it is really important that the bank instalments should be such which are within the reach of lower to middle class.
The previous government had also come up with auto policy 2021-26 which envisaged incentives aimed at enhancing the manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles.
This must also be pursued more vigorously. In fact the electric vehicles are not the future but the present, and China’s auto market has proven it so by enhancing its production in the last couple of years.
The global market for electric vehicle is growing continuously at a compounded annual growth rate of 21.7 per cent.
We should also not lag behind it but benefit from its potential. As we are focusing on indigenous resources for producing electricity, switching to electric vehicles will drastically reduce our reliance on imported fuel and this will give much needed impetus to our economy.