First-ever e-bus starts pilot run on Lahore roads.

LAHORE -- Though this step may not result in a noticeable improvement in the smog-infested air of Lahore overnight, an electric bus with zero smoke emission has begun running on Lahore roads as a test project. Every day, the bus makes two trips from the Punjab Transport Company's (PTC) main station to Valencia Town.

Malik Zaheer Abbas says he has the distinction of becoming the first instructor to assist in the operation of an electric bus in Lahore.

'The bus trial run has been ongoing in Lahore for almost a month, and it's going great,' he told Dawn on Wednesday.

'It's excellent because it's both environmentally friendly and safe for drivers and passengers. I've driven both manual and hybrid buses in my occupational career. It feels good when a driver can sleep at night without thinking about maintenance issues. Only e-buses provide this convenience.'

The Sindh government also followed the Punjab government as it has also introduced an electric fleet of buses as test run.

Sindh Information and Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon tweeted that his ministry was going to start new bus service in Karachi. 'These are Pakistan's first electrical vehicles which are completely environment friendly. From Nov 7, we are going to start the test drive in the city.'

According to PTC acting CEO Abdul Qayyum, the Sapphire group in Pakistan has piloted the initiative in Lahore in collaboration with BYD China, the world's largest producer of electric vehicles. Previously, the same bus did experimental trips in Islamabad. This will assist Pakistan in developing its market and manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs).

Mr Qayyum stated that the data collected during the pilot run was being extensively analysed by the PTC as well as a private consultant because the PTC planned to launch e-buses in Lahore as per the consultant's report. We should keep in mind electric-powered vehicles would rule the roads by 2030.

He says that e-buses are not only fuel-efficient but also have cheaper maintenance costs, implying that they reduce official checks and hierarchy.


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