Specifically in Pakistan, it is a question of when not if, these recharging stations will start sprouting on each corner
Though we were in a great hurry, the last time we were travelling from Karachi to Lahore by car, we had to stop at least 6 times. This was not for food, rest or bio breaks, it was to get the fuel tank refilled.
The way it works is that every automobile (bus, truck, car, rickshaw, motorcycle or others) uses some fuel for its engine to run. Each vehicle has a fuel tank that keep the engine running and takes the vehicle up to a certain distance. To continue using the vehicle one need to get the fuel refilled. Most common fuels used in today’s automobiles used in Pakistan are petrol, diesel or CNG. For that matter a very common and prominent infrastructure in cities or on the highways outside the cities are petrol stations or CNG stations from where their vehicle’s fuel tanks can be refilled, and the country’s transport system continue running.
Ever thought how this fuel reaches our vehicles? It’s a complex process.
The way this system works is
- Oil/Gas drilling companies such as OGDC, UTP, Schlumberger, Exxon etc. drill oil/gas wells to produce oil
- Refineries such as NRL, PRL, PARCO etc. refine the crude oil into finished oil products
- Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) such as Shell, PSO, Parco etc. buy finished oil products from local or international refineries
- OMCs store the finished oil products (petrol, diesel, kerosene oil etc.) into their huge storage depots near the port (mostly Karachi)
- OMCs establish a network of regional oil storage facilities all over Pakistan
- Petrol/diesel (fuel) is transferred thru pipelines or oil tanker trucks to regional storage facilities
- Petrol/diesel is distributed regionally to various petrol stations using oil tanker trucks
- Petrol/diesel is stored in the underground tanks of each petrol station
- From the petrol stations fuel is purchased and stored in the fuel tank of each vehicle
- Vehicles use their own fuel in its tank to run the engine and cover distance
- When the fuel in the fuel tank is used, it needs to be refilled from a petrol station
One can well imagine that without all above network and infrastructure modern day transport stand nowhere.
Now let’s compare the above if the vehicles running on the road use are electric vehicles (EVs) instead of traditional petrol/diesel vehicles.
We all use cell phones and similar other electronic devices. These devices use electric power tom operate but are not necessarily need to be correct to an electric power outlet. They instead have a rechargeable battery installed within. These recharge able batteries need to be charged before the devices can be used. As the device is used the batteries keep on discharging till such time that it is fully discharged, and the device needs to be charged again before it can be used again.
The key differences between petrol/diesel vehicles (fuel vehicle) and electric vehicles (EV) are:
- Fuel vehicles need petrol/diesel as energy/fuel and EVs need electric energy
- Fuel vehicles have fuel tanks for storing energy and EVs have rechargeable batteries for storing electric power
- Fuel vehicles need fuel tank refills and EVs need batteries recharging
- For fuel vehicles we need petrol stations and for EVs we will need recharging stations
I hope the opportunity is becoming more visible and obvious now.
- Exactly the same way that our current day transport system needs the network of petrol stations from where each and every vehicle operator/driver need frequent refueling, the future electric vehicles-based transport system will need recharging stations for frequent recharging
- Exactly the same way setting up and operating petrol stations are a great and successful business opportunity, setting up and operation electric vehicles recharging stations will become a great business opportunity
- And with a great emphasis on the environment and noise pollution everywhere, specifically in Pakistan, it is a question of when not if, these recharging stations will start sprouting on each corner
And mind you, setting up these recharging stations not only makes business sense but also civic and social sense as the initiative of using electric vehicles will not be viable or successful unless the network of recharging stations gets established. So, in addition to making money early investors in the recharging stations are also contributing to this great cause of reducing environment and noise pollution and in supporting their country. Through introduction of the Electric Vehicle policy in December last year the government has set the stage and now it is for all of us to take advantage and do our part.
What needs to be done:
- Government should define the minimum quality and safety standards for setting up recharging stations
- Industrial suppliers should add charging stations equipment to their supply lines
- Industrial turnkey contractors should design and offer turnkey charging stations setup
- Banks should prepare competitive financial packages for setting up charging stations
- Entrepreneurs should evaluate this business opportunity
- Universities should add the above in their academic and trade programs
- All of us should take the first step of start thinking and discussing the above opportunity
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June 29, 2020
The writer is a professional marketer and engineer with good work exposure to governments, and businesses and industries in the private sector in several countries. Idea is to take the first step in adding value to anything that one gets exposed to instead of just complaining about the same.