By: Staff WriterColombo (LNW): EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Denis Chaibi, stated that massive investments or public expenditure for the infrastructure for recharging sites are needed for the formation of electrical vehicles in the island nation.
He was addressing the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), Stakeholder Breakfast Forum at the Hilton Colombo Residencies in Colombo recently.
HR addressed the forum on topics such as the role of the automobile industry in Europe, the relationship between governments and the automobile industry, the infrastructure required for electric vehicles and more.
Mr. Chaibi said, “The biggest challenge for EVs is the massive investment required for the grid to be able to receive and redistribute renewable energy and to be able to support charging stations.
“The best recharging stations take about 20 minutes to charge a vehicle to 80%, so even if you have a large recharging station with say 20 charging points, it will take 20 cars, for 20 minutes.
In terms of electric cars in Sri Lanka, we must look at regulation, enforcement, profit for both manufacturer and the state, and infrastructure,” he claimed.
Finding more sources of renewable energy should be feasible, as Sri Lanka is blessed with mountains, rains, wind, sun, and tides, and with an investment of 15 to 20 billion dollars could be carbon neutral in a few years, he added.
Charaka Perera, Chairman of the Ceylon Motor Traders Association addressed the gathering and highlighted a host of topics such as the hardships faced by the motor industry, the structured proposal by CMTA to lift the suspension on vehicle imports, Electric Vehicles (EV), and more.
During his address, Mr. Perera said, “While some of the countries who have also agreed to COP26 targets have far better EV infra-structure than Sri Lanka, none of them have set their targets for 100% passenger EVs for the immediate term.
He said “his indicates that all of them understand the impracticality of achieving 100% passenger EVs even within a span of five years”.
In a startling revelation, Sri Lanka’s motor traders have raised serious concerns on the government’s decision to impose a zero customs tariff on the CIF value to import electric vehicles with power up to 500 kW or Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PEHV) up to 3000CC in semi-knockdown (SKD) form for local assembly.
This was proposed in a cabinet memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Investment promotion and in addition to it, a proposal has been made to grant this facility for a minimum investment of US$50 million by companies with the approval of Board of Investment (BOI) or new companies entering into such agreements.
This move has been made by the government authorities with ulterior motives for the benefit of a leading company in vehicle import and assembly business in Sri Lanka, frontline members of the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) alleged.