The Future of Electric Rickshaws in Pakistan

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Have you considered the possibility of Electric Vehicles in Pakistan? Your answer may be “Yes but not soon”. But you would be surprised to know that it is not very far that there will be Electric bikes, rickshaws, and cars running on the roads of cities in Pakistan. 

It seems a bit idealistic to say it but the ground conditions are far better than they were before in the country. We will be seeing a great number of hybrid and electric vehicles in the future. How? Let’s take a review of that.

Why do we need Electric Rickshaws in Pakistan

Ever wondered if there is a serious need of an Electric rickshaw in Pakistan? Let’s discuss why.

Many cities of Pakistan rank on top charts of the most polluted cities in the World. Peshawar is at sixth according to a research report (2011). The city is also listed among the most noise-polluted cities. Therefore, there is a high need for introducing some alternative to smoke-producing vehicles that cause pollution. 

The neighboring countries (China and India) have taken a significant lead in EVs already. There are many new Electric rickshaws in India launched for their common citizens at an affordable price. Mahindra Treo, Toto, Sarthi, Bajaj, and Tata are the best e-rickshaw manufacturers in India.

Government Initiatives

During his recent visit to Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), Pakistan’s Science and Technology Federal Minister “Fawad Chaudhry” stated that a big part of the country’s economy lies in the transportation system. He said that the government is planning to promote E-rickshaws, electric motorcycles and hybrid cars in the country for the reduction of carbon emissions.

The prime minister of Pakistan “Imran Khan” has also approved an initial concept of Pakistan’s first electric vehicle policy. The submitted draft aims to increase sales of Electric vehicles in Pakistan up to 90% by 2040.

The policy further includes the aim of increasing sales of EV annually by 60,000 by 2030. It is a claim by the government that the country’s economy will have a profit of PKR 110 billion annually if we switch to electric and hybrid vehicles. The government is also keen to introduce and promote Electric rickshaws on a national level.

The policy is still in its build-up phase but this initiative of the government of Pakistan should be appreciated to promote an environmental-friendly transport system.

Recent Developments and Advancements 

Several Chinese and local companies have launched E-rickshaws in different cities of Pakistan. But unfortunately, none of them had made a significant impact on the transportation system of Pakistan. There were some limitations in each electric rickshaw and therefore, they could not compete with the conventional CNG rickshaws.

Here are some E-rickshaws launched in Pakistan.

Imported E-rickshaws from Japan and China

The idea of importing Electric rickshaws was honestly not so good due to several reasons. Firstly, The country’s economy cannot bear such a big import part on this stage. Secondly, the price of that rickshaws would increase drastically due to import and other various taxes. This failed the concept of bringing E-rickshaws even before they could be launched.

Z5 E-Tricycle 

Z5 E-tricycle design was new, sleek and simple. It ran on solar power and saved a great amount of energy. It had a significantly low running cost as it was a solar-powered erickshaw. 

But due to its range anxiety, it could not sustain for very long on the roads of Punjab. It could only give 50 kilometers per 2 hours of recharge for battery which was very less for commercial rickshaw drivers. This made them hold back to buy this battery rickshaw.

Local Company Air-Conditioned E-Rickshaws

Launched in 2017, It was one of the E-rickshaws that had the best potential to run on the streets of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, and KPK. It gave an easy, safe and comfortable ride. It also had a wonderful range of 150-200 Kilometers and targeted mainly the local rickshaw drivers. The E-rickshaw price was also affordable. 

The one thing that held this rickshaw back to be the pioneer was there was infrastructure or facility to charge these E-rickshaws in the middle of nowhere. It was a great concern for the rickshaw drivers of Pakistan.

What to Expect in the Future?

The students of NED University of Engineering and Technology (Karachi) aim to develop a perfect design for Electric Rickshaw, especially for Pakistani rickshaw drivers. It will be a great convenience for rickshaw drivers to drive EV rickshaws which will give them good payback and save money. The research work is still in progress and it is hoped that the E-rickshaws will be available at an affordable price soon and you will hopefully be getting it by the end of 2020.

The future of Electric auto-rickshaws in Pakistan is bright still after so many failures as continuous research and development are taking place in the institutions all over the country. And there is a big hope that they will come up with something big and worthy in the future.

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