Pakistan, in its timely joining the trend, is ramping up cooperation with international EV giants to amplify its own competence. Last month, Automobile brand Huazi Green Energy, a joint Pakistan-China venture, announced the plan to display the first electric car in Islamabad this month, achieving yet another score in Pakistan’s EV endeavour.
EV momentum is accelerating globally. Statistics from International Energy Agency (IEA) show that in 2022, one in every seven passenger cars bought worldwide was an EV as compared with one in every 70 just five years earlier. Last year, EV sales rose by 55%, reaching a total of 10.5 million, according to the EV Volumes sales database.
In May, Chinese vehicle manufacturing company Huaihai in collaboration with its Pakistani partner announced that it is seeking to expand its existing business by investing $10 million in manufacturing electric vehicles, starting with two-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles in Punjab.
Among the global players, China’s presence in the international EV market has become too prominent to be neglected. Among the global EV sales, 59% are contributed by China, which is also the world’s biggest EV producer, with 64% of global volume. In the first half of this year, China’s EV brand BYD witnessed a record-breaking 95.8% increase y-o-y of cumulative sales, snapping global sales champion. Last month, the country rolled the 20 millionth EV vehicle off the assembly line.
Pakistan is not the only country that has set its eye on the biggest automaker in the world as international venerable auto brands are trying to snatch a share of China’s EV dividend.
Also last month, German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen invested $700 million in leading Chinese smart EV company XPENG, taking 4.99% of the latter‘s shares. They also announced the joint development of two B-class battery electric vehicles (“BEV”) models for sale and collaboration on future EV platforms, software technologies and supply chains. Following its subsidiary Audi’s move to join hands with China’s SAIC Motor to develop intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs), this was considered by some auto experts as a watershed moment for China’s auto sector to shift from technology import to export, which is expected to shape a new international divison of labor.
A number of Chinese companies such as BAIC, Changan, JAC Motors, Great Wall Motors, MG, FAW, and Chery Automobile have established their presence and even formed joint ventures in Pakistan, driving the EV industry in the country towards intelligence and electrification.
“While there is a long way to go for Pakistan to build the EV infrastructure, cut down EV prices, and produce parts locally, we have a lot to benefit from the technology transfer from global tycoons like China. On my visit to one of the EV manufacturing hubs in China, Yangtze River Delta, I was surprised to see that a new energy vehicle can be produced within four hours, with chips and software from Shanghai, batteries from Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, and integrated die-casting machine from Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. In the complete, highly-efficient supply chain, there are countless models for us to learn from”, a Lahore-based automobile seller told Gwadar Pro.