LAHORE: A presentation on hybrid cars was held at the Porsche centre in Lahore, aiming to create awareness of hybrid technologies in automobiles.
Porsche Pakistan, which has recently unveiled the new Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, advocated in the presentation that such innovations were a potential solution to the problems of rising fuel costs and environment concerns related to the automobile industry.
“We, as a country, need to embrace hybrid technology,” Porsche Pakistan CEO Abuzar Bukhari remarked during the presentation. “The biggest selling point is that we save money and save the planet.”
Bukhari had privately explained that the reason for hosting the briefing was to help acquaint the public with the new technology being included in hybrid cars, and said he was passionate about promoting them in the Pakistani market.
He said the output of hybrid technology has proven that it can match the performance of comparable non-hybrid cars, as well as being more economical. Bukhari said that current technology has proven that one can save up to 40-50% on fuel while driving a zero-emissions car.
“The hybrid revolution started in California, where, due to government regulations, Toyota Prius changed the automobile industry,” remarked Bukhari. At the time, Prius had generated significant buzz as a number of celebrities embraced the car as something better for the environment.
He claimed that hybrid technology would be a game changer for the automobile industry in Pakistan. The challenge is that imported cars have been slapped with obscene duties and tariffs due to the dominance of local automobile manufacturers, he observed.
“The thing I don’t understand is that the local car industry turns profits every year, and yet they cry over imports claiming the local market will die,” observed Bukhari. “There is a significant difference in imported and domestically-assembled cars. The people deserve the better option.”
“A Porsche Cayenne with duties is priced at Rs10 million, but will cost consumers only Rs4.5 million without them,” he told the gathering.
Bukhari concluded the presentation by explaining that the environmental benefits of hybrid technology could be quantified, and that for a fuel-strapped nation, it was the duty of the government to find ways to encourage the technology amongst all sectors of the automobile industry.
“We need to promote high-efficiency cars that can reduce each person’s fuel bill. There is enough data to show that fuel costs can be reduced by as much as 50%,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2013.
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