Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has taken a move to amend the rules of the now-defunct Motor Vehicle Ordinance (MVO) by incorporating a provision in it for the registration of electric vehicles.
Sources said though the import of e-vehicles into the country is yet to start except battery for easy-bikes, the amendment to the rules will help legalise hundreds of thousands of illegal vehicles by allowing registration.
Officials, however, said the move has been taken following a delay in formulating the Electric Vehicle Policy which was drafted in 2018.
As the draft policy formulated by BRTA has been found faulty and it would take time to finalise, BRTA sources said, the amendment to the rules would be made to ensure the registration of electric vehicles in the country if import starts.
The government has enacted Road Transport Act which took effect on November 01 in 2019, making MVO-84 obsolete. As the rules of RTA have not yet been finalised, the rules of MVO are still enforceable.
A meeting on the proposal for the amendment to the rules will be held at the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges on Sunday with the Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary in the chair.
"The amendment is to add the word of kilowatt along with CC to the MVO to set standards of vehicles so that electric vehicles can be registered under BRTA. We want the country to be ready to accept energy-efficient vehicles,'' said BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder.
He, however, said battery-run vehicles won't fall into this category of vehicles due to lack of standards.
The BRTA chairman told the FE that the amendment to the MVO rules will help register the vehicles as the technical team found it technically sound through an analysis of the electric vehicle policy. "If these vehicles follow safety standards, we would give registration," he added.
The government has taken the move to formulate the EV policy for importing, manufacturing and management of electric vehicles, known as e-vehicles. But the policy failed to address necessary areas in line with the global trends.
Globally, e-vehicles are still at the trial stage and the standard process is also going on. Hybrid vehicles have both fuel and battery option for operation but transport importers said no kilowatt measurement is necessary to assess standards in such kind of vehicles.
India, China and other developed countries have started producing e-vehicles as transport manufacturing would go for fully electronic by 2050 for energy efficiency and environment.
Transport importers, however, criticised the move taken by BRTA, saying that it would encourage a certain quarter to promote illegal human haulers rather than solving transportation problem in rural areas.
Why the move on electric vehicles was taken when the transport sector is grappling with multiple problems, they questioned.
Mohammad Abdul Hamid Sharif, former president of BARVIDA and vice chairman of Road Safety Foundation, told the FE that the country needs various important policies to bring disciplines on roads and set standards for the transport sector.
Without focusing on those issues, he said, the government has taken a move which is not desirable.