“Imports should be permitted in next Budget” | Sunday Observer
Promoting electric vehicles

“Imports should be permitted in next Budget”

1 August, 2021

The promotion of Electric Vehicles in Sri Lanka (EVs) is a timely and sound move that aligns the motor segment of Sri Lanka with the rest of the world which is fast moving towards EVs to achieve ecological and economic benefits, said Ideal Group Founder and Executive Chairman Nalin Welgama. 

He said leading automakers have signalled their intention of migrating from ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) to EVs by 2030, or cut back sharply towards electric vehicles.

Daimler plans to invest $47 billion to electrify all their cars by 2030. The Stellantis Group which owns Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Peugeot plans to invest €30 billion to electrify its models by 2025.

Volkswagen the German giant wants to be the global leader in electric vehicles. Volvo, owned by Geely, plans to go fully electric by 2030.

Jaguar expects to be completely electric by 2025. The list of recognised automakers going electric is thus clearly established.Sri Lanka was a signatory to the Paris Agreement in 2015 and is fully committed to go green.  

President  Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Government are taking bold steps towards a sustainable future. 

The Standard Operation Procedures ( SOP) which was rolled out by Minister Wimal  Weerawansa in April, recognises the importance of EVs, by granting tax concessions for e-vehicle assembly in Sri Lanka.  However, Welgama said that the Government should  allow the import of EVs through its  November 2021 Budget. “Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, is in the forefront of the electric vehicle segment in India following their acquisition of Reva electric car company in May 2010,” Welgama said, adding that the  company sells electric vehicles in different segments. The electric e-KUV100 car, the electric commercial vehicle the e-Supro (passenger and cargo), and the Treo range of low maintenance, lithium iron battery powered three-wheelers.

“Our Joint Venture company, Mahindra Ideal Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

(MILPL), will commence the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) assembly of our signature Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV), the Bolero Maxi truck next month.

The assembly of the double cabin pickup, the Scorpio and the e-KUV100 are planned for early next year. Research reveals that EV fueling costs are 50 to 75 percent lower than for ICE vehicles, contributing to a very attractive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

It has been estimated that EV maintenance expenses are much lower than those for ICE vehicles as there is no need to change spark plugs, oil, or air filters, and there are far fewer pumps, circuits, valves, coils, and the many other ICE components that periodically fail.

There is no transmission to fail or radiator to overheat.

A study of EVs in Texas and California conducted four years ago found the EV TCO was already lower than for an ICE vehicle, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) lower than  plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and hybrids. 

The caveat to the study was that these figures included state subsidies (tax credits) for EV purchases. However, declining battery costs are rapidly making up the difference so that the EV TCO will continue to be lower, even after state subsidies are removed.

The Government aims to develop a strategic plan to promote electric vehicles in keeping with the objective of promoting  renewable energy usage.

According to a study by Moratuwa University,  vehicle emissions account for around 60 percent of air pollution.

It has been revealed that  of around eight million  vehicles in the country, a sizable number of them are over 10 years old and are responsible for the emission of poisonous gases.

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