Bangladesh needs to formulate a policy to popularise electric vehicles which will reduce dependency on fossil fuel and protect the environment, speakers said yesterday.
“Battery-run three wheelers are not registered due to a lack of policy and hence the government is deprived of the revenues from registration and licensing fees, route permits and related taxes,” said Akihiro Ueda, director of Asia EV business.
Ueda, also managing director of Terra Motors India, said there are around one million such three wheelers, predominantly in district towns and rural areas, and their formalisation could bring in roughly Tk 19.25 crore as revenue.
Ueda was giving a presentation at a dialogue on the prospects and policies of electric vehicles in Bangladesh jointly organised by Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) at Amari Dhaka.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi stressed the need for introducing electric vehicles as a convenient and cost effective transportation system. “Now we should take up initiatives to introduce those to reduce greenhouse effects,” he said.
He also said a related policy would be formulated as it had potential to bring in a huge amount of foreign investment.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator on SDG affairs at Prime Minister's Office, said earlier the presence of one million electric three wheelers was a hindrance for the scarcity of power but now electricity generation had greatly improved.
He suggested entrepreneurs introduce quality electric bicycles, three wheelers and cars and focus on battery recycling.
Hiroyasu Izumi, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, said their government was considering supporting access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, a target of SDG 11 related to “Sustainable Cities and Communities”.
He said the battery-run three wheelers already proved their merit in countries like India, Vietnam and China.
He further said now Terra Motors was producing a variety of quality Japanese electric three wheelers in Bangladesh and had fast become a market leader.
Referring to a case study, Daisuke Arai, country representative of Jetro Dhaka office, said around 52,000 battery-run three wheelers had created employment for around 58,000 people at the district level.
He also said travel cost on the vehicles at short distances was one fourth of rickshaws and half of compressed natural gas-run three wheelers.
Arai also said Bangladesh could save up to $800 million yearly through air pollution reduction in four big cities.
Among others, Osama Taser, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Asif Ibrahim, former chairman of the BUILD spoke.