‘Installing charging stations is easier than installing gas stations’

Private company claims electricity shortfall won’t affect EVs

A private company Zi Solar is looking to enter the charging station installation business. The company will initially import Korean car chargers and storage equipment before entering into the manufacturing business by 2022.

The company will be partnering with a Korean company Aeonus Co. to mainly install car chargers at charging stations in Pakistan initially importing completely built car charging units.

“Punjab is making it compulsory to install at least one car charging unit at gas stations,” said Muhammad Bilal Zaigham, the director of business development at Zi Solar. “It tells there’s great potential in this business ahead.”    

Related: Will Pakistan be getting cheap electric cars?

Zi Solar has been in the business of selling solar energy equipment and installation since 2015. Zaigham said that they will also be offering charging stations with solar energy solutions. It means charging stations can become self-sufficient for electricity requirements or their reliance on electricity provided by companies such as K-Electric.  

“Pakistan has electricity issues and also inconsistent voltages in the electricity transmission. So, we will also be providing solar energy solutions to car changing stations,” he said.   

Under the agreement with the Korean company, Zi Solar will introduce Korean made electric vehicle charging equipment and solutions, including high-speed 50kW (level 3) DC chargers for electric vehicles, 7kW (Level 2) AC electric vehicle chargers, solar powered charging systems, storage system and smart mobility charging stations.

Related: An electric car could save you Rs25,000 every month

Zaigham said that Zi Solar will collaborate in research and development, marketing and advertising to promote electric charging infrastructure and facilities in Pakistan.

He said that electric vehicles were rapidly gaining ground in Pakistan. To make this trend sustainable, there is a need of reliable and efficient charging solutions and equipment.

“Use of electric vehicles would not only ensure protection of environment but it will also help save foreign exchange as it will help reduce the fuel import bill,” he said.

Zaigham added that establishing car charging stations are much easier and cheaper as compared to establishing fuel stations because a fuel station needs a lot of safety features as petrol or diesel are highly flammable and they need tanks to get stored. “You don’t need to worry about those hassles when you establish a charging station,” he said.

He also said that there should be a consensus between electric vehicle manufacturing companies for similar sockets or the charging point in the car.

“All electric car making companies should have a common socket (charging point) so that the EV owners can easily get their cars changed from any electric car charging station,” he said.

He said that there were around mainly three to four different types of sockets in EVs around the world.         

The electric cars are becoming a hot topic in the auto sector of the country as the government has announced its auto policy. Some car companies have announced launch of electric cars or would be launching electric cars soon such as MG Motors.

Why electric cars?

Climate change is wreaking havoc across the world and many countries, including Pakistan, want to tackle it. Pakistan is among the top five countries most affected by climate change.

In an effort to play its part, Pakistan has formed an electric vehicle policy to facilitate the transformation of the transport sector from fuel-based motorcycles, cars, buses and trucks to electric vehicles.

The policy gives incentives on duties and taxes to help businesses start industrial assembly. Pakistan hopes to electrify 30% of the total vehicles in the country by 2030.

According to the Ministry of Climate Change, 42% of the air pollution in the country comes from traffic. Electrifying 30% of the vehicles could also save Pakistan approximately $2 billion on oil imports every year.

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