The government has been inching towards introducing an e-vehicle policy to counter the challenge of eradicating pollution in urban cities caused by motor vehicles. The introduction of more cars within the system requires a complete revamp because the influx of bank loans has already facilitated many to invest in fuel-based private cars and motorbikes. In such a scenario, removing these cars from the roads would require a lot of incentives and encouragement on part of the government. If a rapid shift towards hybrid vehicles takes place, we could have a large amount of second-hand petrol and diesel vehicles, with no buyers.

At the same time, policies in place prior to PTI taking over the government in Pakistan might prove to be restrictive. For instance, the previous government signed a contract with Hyundai to allow them to set up a plant in Pakistan to manufacture more cars. If such plans are in motion, Pakistan is a long way from a policy on e-vehicles. For e-vehicles to be the future, localisation of production needs to be prioritised and this the government understands, judging by the reports coming in of the considerations being made while drafting this policy.

The environmental aspect of this policy is obvious; a move towards e-vehicles will reduce pollution effectively. For that reason alone, local production is certainly a policy that Pakistan needs to invest in. The government needs dedicated individuals to help get started on both importing and production capability. But the real benefit of this would be that this can potentially set up a completely new industry in Pakistan. In the long-term it is anticipated to see demand increase as more countries make the shift towards sustainable transport. The opportunity is there for the taking, provided a healthy balance is struck. Will we be able to capitalise?