Pakistans MoI to focus on promotion of hybrid vehiclesAudio version
Import of the Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) has been exempted from customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax which are in excess of 75 percent of the applicable tax rates. Depreciation in the duties and taxes, in case of old and used HEVs, shall be admissible at the rate of two percent per month subject to a maximum of 60 percent.
A source said Indus Motors Pakistan, which is assembling Toyota vehicles, had imported two models of hybrid cars which were under testing. "As Toyota starts sale of hybrid cars, it will be a good alternative for the customers," the source added.
Hybrid cars have been gaining popularity all over the world due to rising cost of fuel as well as environmental concerns.
A typical hybrid vehicle has an internal combustion engine coupled with one or more electric motors. The most popular hybrid car in the world is Toyota Prius which has dominated the scene for past several years. Millions of Toyota Prius cars are on the road in more than 80 countries. In view of the rising demand of the Toyota hybrid vehicles, the manufacturing has commenced in China as well, which in the past was limited to Japan only.
For an energy starved country like Pakistan, it has become imperative to explore options. The rising number of hybrid vehicles on the Pakistani roads is an evidence that people do not want to stand in long queues at CNG stations. A car like Toyota Prius typically gives 25-27 km/litre of petrol. Recently introduced smaller Toyota Aqua (also known as Prius C) gives average fuel efficiency of 35 km/litre.
With the depletion of fossil fuels expected not in too distant future, another type of alternative fuel vehicle is gaining popularity. Several prototypes are under various stages of trials. Honda FCX is the first production model, available for purchase in limited countries. It does not use any fossil fuel. Hydrogen gas from gas station combines with oxygen from the atmosphere, and a chemical reaction charges the onboard battery, which in turn drives an electric motor which propels the vehicles. The best thing about Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is that they do not pollute the environment. The by-product from the exhaust pipe is water vapour only.