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Pakistan set to launch localized electric rickshaws

Pakistan set to launch localized electric rickshaws

Pakistan set to launch localized electric rickshaws

Pakistan set to launch localized electric rickshaws

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The localization of electric vehicle (EV) rickshaws is set to commence in Pakistan in the coming months, aiming to reduce prices to approximately Rs400,000–500,000 per unit in the local market.

This marks a historic initiative to lower EV rickshaw prices through localization. Currently, the cost of imported Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) kits for EV rickshaws is about Rs 1 million per unit.

According to the Express Tribune, increasing the localization of parts will significantly cut costs and reduce the import bill. Importing CKD kits from China poses challenges, as a single container can only hold 20 to 25 CKD kits, resulting in high transportation costs. This makes fully imported rickshaws, priced at Rs1 million, unaffordable for local drivers.

Industry sources reveal that four to five Lahore-based companies specializing in EV rickshaws will soon enter the market.

Representatives from Chinese brands have visited Pakistan and are in discussions with local auto industrialists to finalize agreements. By the end of the year, EV rickshaws are expected to be operational on Pakistani roads.

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Market experts emphasize the need to localize as many parts as possible within the auto industry to support the struggling sector and provide better quality and pricing for consumers.

The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has noted a decline in vehicle sales, except a significant increase in farm tractors.

Auto sector expert and analyst Muhammad Sabir Sheikh highlighted that the EV industry is the future for Pakistan. He observed a declining interest in fuel-driven vehicles, with more customers shifting towards EVs, mirroring trends in modern countries.

He said, “It is relatively simple to assemble rickshaws, with many components, such as the main body, frame, chassis, and front and rear shocks, readily manufacturable. Meanwhile, the motor controller, motor, and battery of EV rickshaws can initially be imported until the entire technology is transferred. Additionally, these EV rickshaws will be equipped with solar panels on their roofs to facilitate daytime charging.”

Sheikh added that “Several companies specializing in three-wheelers have already imported some CKD kits of EV rickshaws for successful test drives. However, once these rickshaws are marketed and sold, there will be a demand for thousands of units due to their maintenance-free nature. Eventually, drivers will be able to cover the cost of EV rickshaws.”

Auto Analyst and IBA Assistant Professor Dr. Aadil Nakhoda emphasized the importance of understanding what “localization” truly means.

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“We must ensure that local players are globally competitive, not just domestically. High tariffs and protection do not help, as they end up shifting the cost of inefficiencies onto the consumer. Secondly, localization without technology transfer agreements may lead to the dumping of low-quality and less efficient technologies as they become outdated in other countries. We require quality checks, certifications, and inspection requirements rather than tariffs and import restraints. The purpose of all policies must be to protect the rights of consumers, who should have access to the best-quality products at the lowest possible price. Lastly, localization needs to be analyzed throughout the supply chain, as some local suppliers may be dependent on imported inputs and may be importing at higher costs than otherwise available,” said Nakhoda.

He added that localization policies should focus on building a competitive sector. It’s better to invest in business capabilities and improve support rather than seek short-term gains.

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