Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Monday inaugurated the environment friendly E-Taxi for northern areas of the country as per the Prime Minister’s vision of embracing 21st century technological advancement amid ecological conservation. Addressing the launching ceremony of first ever electric vehicles being introduced as taxis in the hilly terrain of Northern Areas through a joint venture between Sapphire Group and Faisal Movers, he said, “I congratulate Sapphire Group and Faisal Movers for their joint initiative, as they are embracing the future in the field of advanced mobility and sustainable growth.” The joint venture between Sapphire Group and Faisal Movers aimed to reduce the country’s carbon footprint which was a global collective objective along with implementation of a strong de-carbonisation action plan which would help preserve the natural environment of Northern Areas, especially Gilgit Baltistan (GB). Amin said, “E-Taxi service is a very big service for GB facing drastic impacts of temperature rise leading to snow slides and glacial lake outburst floods.” He added that the transformation of automobile entering the picturesque tourist areas of GB would bring revolution in the valley through eco-friendly transportation. “Chief Minister GB Khalid Khursheed Khan is also excited to welcome this initiative as he has also been taken on board on this matter,” the SAPM said. PM’s aide on Climate Change underscored that GB was bearing the massive potential of tourism attracted by the country and was also equally vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. “We have the responsibility to protect its environment as fuel based vehicular emissions are detrimental for the local environment and ecology. GB is generating major chunk of our tourism, so we cannot pollute it,” he added. Pointing out the initial routes of the EV taxis, he said E-Taxi would start from the federal capital to Murree and Nathiagali whereas its powerful engine and battery capacity could also let the vehicle venture into hilly areas. “Charging Infrastructure is a major issue after launching the EVs whereas our government is extending incentives on charging stations to be installed across the country,” he informed the participants. Amin said Electric vehicles (EV) are the future of the world, and the country, keeping in view the global trends, introduced an EV Policy in 2019 which after many strides got approved from the Cabinet. “Climate Change is a very huge issue for Pakistan. The country has initiated different endeavors in forestry and energy side. We are going to clean our energy mix by shifting it to 60% renewable,” he announced. Transport sector, he said was costing 40% emissions in Pakistan, adding, “We have direct risk of air pollution. EV is a win-win answer for Pakistan, as it’s running cost is 60% less as compared to fuel based vehicle and emits 70% less emissions.” Ministry of Climate Change had conducted a US AID study that highlighted massive bill was of oil import born by the country which the EV would help to save $2billiom per year with generating green jobs. Amin appreciated the Build Your Dreams (BYD) EV manufacturing company for its trust in Pakistani market and launching their vehicles in the country.