Green Wheels: Promoting Electric Vehicles in Pakistan


Pakistan, like many countries around the world, is grappling with the challenges of urbanization, air pollution, and the need for sustainable transportation solutions. While the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has been gaining momentum globally, Pakistan has been relatively slow in embracing this eco-friendly technology. However, with rising fuel prices, environmental concerns, and the government’s commitment to promoting clean energy, the time is ripe for Pakistan to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

The Case for Electric Vehicles in Pakistan 

The benefits of promoting electric vehicles in Pakistan are multifaceted, addressing environmental, economic, and public health concerns. Here are some compelling reasons why Pakistan should prioritize the adoption of EVs:

Air Quality Improvement

Pakistan’s major cities, such as Lahore, Karachi, and Faisalabad, consistently rank among the most polluted cities in the world. EVs emit zero direct emissions, contributing to cleaner air and improved public health.

Energy Security

Pakistan heavily relies on imported fossil fuels, straining its economy and rendering it vulnerable to price fluctuations. Transitioning to EVs powered by domestically generated electricity can enhance energy security and reduce reliance on imported fuels.

Cost Savings

While the initial cost of EVs may be higher, the operational costs are significantly lower than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. With rising fuel prices, EVs offer long-term cost savings for consumers and businesses.

Noise Reduction

Electric vehicles operate with minimal noise pollution, creating a more pleasant urban environment and reducing noise-related stress and health issues.

Climate Change Mitigation

As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Pakistan has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting EVs can contribute to achieving these climate goals by reducing the transportation sector’s carbon footprint.

Challenges and Opportunities 

Despite the compelling benefits, the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Pakistan faces several challenges that need to be addressed:

Infrastructure Development

The lack of a robust charging infrastructure is a significant barrier to EV adoption. Pakistan needs to invest in establishing a nationwide network of public charging stations and incentivize the installation of charging points in residential and commercial buildings.

Affordability and Incentives

The higher upfront costs of EVs can be a deterrent for many consumers. The government should explore financial incentives, such as tax rebates, subsidies, or low-interest loans, to make EVs more accessible and affordable.

Public Awareness and Education

There is a need to raise public awareness about the benefits of EVs and address misconceptions surrounding their range, performance, and reliability. Educational campaigns and test-drive opportunities can help promote consumer acceptance.

Policy and Regulatory Framework

Pakistan lacks a comprehensive policy and regulatory framework to govern the electric vehicle industry. Clear guidelines and standards for vehicle specifications, charging infrastructure, and incentives are necessary to facilitate the smooth transition to electric mobility.

Local Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Establishing a local EV manufacturing industry and supply chain can create job opportunities, reduce import costs, and foster long-term sustainability. Public-private partnerships and incentives for domestic production can support this endeavor.

Initiatives and Success Stories 

Despite the challenges, Pakistan has witnessed some promising initiatives and success stories in the electric vehicle sector:

The Pak-China Electric Vehicle Policy

In 2020, Pakistan announced a joint policy with China to promote electric vehicles, aiming to have at least 30% of new vehicle sales be electric by 2030.

Electric Rickshaws and Motorcycles

Several Pakistani startups and companies have introduced electric rickshaws and motorcycles, offering eco-friendly and cost-effective transportation solutions for urban areas.

Public Transportation Electrification

Major cities like Lahore and Karachi have initiated pilot projects to introduce electric buses and vans for public transportation, reducing emissions and operating costs.

Charging Station Installations

While still limited, some private companies and public entities have begun installing charging stations in select locations, paving the way for a more comprehensive charging infrastructure.

The Road Ahead 

Promoting electric vehicles in Pakistan requires a concerted effort from various stakeholders, including the government, private sector, and civil society. Here are some recommended steps to accelerate the transition to electric mobility:

Develop a National Electric Vehicle Policy

Pakistan needs a comprehensive national policy that outlines targets, incentives, regulations, and a roadmap for EV adoption across various sectors, including personal, commercial, and public transportation.

Invest in Charging Infrastructure

Prioritize the development of a robust charging infrastructure by establishing public-private partnerships, offering incentives for private investments, and ensuring standardization and interoperability.

Promote Local Manufacturing

Encourage domestic manufacturing of EVs and components through tax incentives, research and development support, and collaboration with international automakers and technology partners.

Public Awareness and Education Campaigns

Launch nationwide awareness campaigns highlighting the benefits of EVs, addressing common concerns, and providing information on available models, incentives, and charging infrastructure.

Pilot Projects and Demonstrations

Implement pilot projects and demonstrations in major cities to showcase the viability and benefits of electric vehicles, encouraging public participation and gathering valuable feedback.

Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Foster international and regional collaboration to learn from best practices, share experiences, and leverage the expertise of countries that have successfully transitioned to electric mobility.


By addressing these key areas and leveraging the potential of electric vehicles, Pakistan can contribute to a greener, more sustainable future while reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels, improving air quality, and positioning itself as a leader in the electric mobility revolution.

This article is written by Radma Nouman. Radma is a research analyst at IMARAT Institute of Policy Studies (IIPS).

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