- Founder/chairman of DICE Foundation, designer and developer of the vehicle, says commercial production is expected to start from last quarter of 2024
KARACHI: DICE Foundation unveiled Pakistan’s first electric car, the ‘Nur-E 75’, on the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day here at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi.
The car, labelled the country's first indigenous electric vehicle, has been designed and developed by DICE Foundation, a US-based non-profit organisation run by expatriate Pakistanis in the US, EU, etc. along with support from local academia and industry.
Chairman and founder of DICE Foundation, Dr Khurshid Qureshi, an expert on the development of autonomous vehicles, during a presentation said Pakistan has only imported innovation since its inception 75 years ago, while others such as South Korea and China have flourished by leaps and bounds during that period.
“South Korea learnt to make television from Japan and now it is making better TVs,” he said during the ceremony. “I cannot stress enough on the significance of this innovation and how it will be a game-changer both for Pakistan’s economy as well as for the well-being of the people.
“We have wasted enough time importing,” he said, adding that EVs were the future of the automotive industry.
Sharing details about the hatchback Nur-E 75, he said the car’s commercial production is expected to start from the last quarter of 2024. The company has been named Jaxeri after a Muslim scientist.
“This electric car will play a phenomenal role in the context of environment and climate change, and will help us move away from non-renewable fuel consumption. This prototype is a 5-seater hatchback, but we also have plans to develop a sedan and small SUV on the same platform,” said Dr Qureshi.
He also thanked all the partners who helped in the project, namely NEDUET, DSU, NCA, TEVTA Punjab, NUST, SSUET, Amreli Steels, PSG, and Kruddson Aluminum.
“Around $60-$80 million financing is needed for this project to complete.”
Dr Qureshi said by the time it is commercially produced, the car will have 60% locally manufactured parts, which will increase to 80% in the next few years.
He admitted that the country will continue to need raw materials such as lithium, used in electric batteries, which is produced by a handful of countries including China, Chile, Australia and Argentina.
“Even Tesla is importing batteries from China,” he said.
“Other auto companies only assemble cars here and only manufacture some parts while the designs are made by their parent companies abroad,” he said.
Pricing details and other features
Dr Qureshi was reluctant to share pricing details, but said vehicles in the same segment, Honda-E and Nissan Leaf, are priced at $40,000 and $35,000, respectively, “but Nur-E 75 price will be much lower than those”.
However, another official said people should not expect a car below a price tag of Rs2 million.
The car takes eight hours to get fully charged, and reached a top speed of 127km/h during trials. It can run 210 kilometers when fully charged.
Former Chairman of the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) Mashood Khan said the country needs to promote indigenous cars.
“It is a great achievement that Pakistan has designed its own electric car. We should start now to be a part of the global race when electric vehicles begin to dominate by 2040,” said Khan.
Khan said that it was a timely initiative and stakeholders must support this project so that it becomes successful.