KARACHI: Sindh authorities are waiting for a nod from the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to register hundreds of imported electric cars as a government plan to shift vehicles from fossil fuel to electric power suffered a major setback when it came to light that the documentation and legalisation process of vehicles doesn’t have any provision for the modern technology, it emerged on Sunday.

The issue came under the spotlight when a consignment of imported vehicles was offloaded at ports but it emerged later that such vehicles couldn’t not be registered under the existing rules.

The issue put both the authorities and the importers in a fix to find out an immediate solution as change of rules through proper legislation could take much time.

NED University has devised a formula to convert car engines’ power from kilowatts to CC

“The vehicles here in the country are registered on the basis of their engine capacity which is weighed through Cubic Centimeters or popularly known as CC,” Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, director general of the excise and taxation department told Dawn.

“The concept of electric vehicles is new in Pakistan. These vehicles are produced with the engine capacity in kilowatt. The vehicle registration varies over its engine power. So the problem emerge that we don’t have any scale or standard to weigh the capacity of the kilowatt engines.”

He said the Sindh excise department sought assistance from the NED University of Engineering and Technology to describe conversion of kilowatt engines into CC so the registration process of the imported electric vehicles could be initiated.

The federal government in June 2020 approved an ambitious national Electric Vehicles (EV) policy for implementation under which a target was set to convert 30 per cent of four- and tri-wheelers in the country to electric vehicles. While announcing the policy, the government claimed that it would help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Covering buses and trucks, as well as two- and three-wheel vehicles, including rickshaws and motorcycles, the new policy introduces a raft of incentives to encourage manufacturers to start producing electric vehicles and customers to buy them. The new policy was originally approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in November 2019, with the goal of cutting air pollution and curbing climate change.

It aims to induct half a million electric motorcycles and rickshaws, along with more than 100,000 electric cars, buses and trucks, into the transportation system over the next five years. The goal is to have at least 30pc of all vehicles running on electricity by 2030. However, the government target is meeting new challenges that are mainly related to existing rules and process. The Sindh government seems taking a lead to sort it out.

“The NED University has responded to our request. It has devised a formula and formed a table which calculates the conversation of kilowatt engines into CC,” said Mr Siddiqui. “The experts who helped devise this conversion have also suggested seeking an approval from the PSQCA. So we have formally requested the PSQCA for their approval. Once we receive their nod, the process of electric cars registration would be started.”

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2020