Reaction to electric vehicles policy

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THE Federal Cabinet has taken a futuristic decision by ap
proving an ambitious national Electric Vehicles (EV)
policy under which a target has been set to convert 30% of four and tri-wheelers in the country into electric vehicles. Apart from other advantages of the new policy, it could also help address woes of CNG sector as more than 3,000 CNG stations, which had been lying closed due to gas shortage, could be converted into EV charging stations.
There are clear benefits of EV policy as introduction of electric vehicles would not only help cut the staggering fuel import bill but would also be in line with the requirements of a clean environment. It would also ensure affordable transportation as studies show the cost of running electric vehicles was much lower than that of plying vehicles on petrol, condensed natural gas (CNG) or other fuel. Explaining salient features of the policy, Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam had claimed that local car manufacturers had already completed 90 per cent of the spadework and they were waiting for approval of the policy to roll out electric vehicles. However, latest reports indicate that the domestic auto industry was not happy and feels neglected while drafting the policy. Auto parts manufacturers too are expressing reservations over the policy fearing that their economic interests might be hurt. With this in view, the Government should hold talks with all stakeholders to get their input and incorporate their suggestions into the new policy. Genuine complaints need to be addressed but the need to move towards new technology that offers solution to many challenges of the country should not be compromised at the altar of vested interests. Local auto sector should realize that the country has to keep pace with the rest of the world and cannot deviate from the path of technological development just because unwillingness of the auto industry to invest in new technology. The best option would be for the government to offer incentives to the local industry for upgradation and modernization.