4th December 2018
Shaikh Monowar Ahmad

Climate change is an undeniable phenomenon affecting every living thing on a global scale. Bangladesh is not immune to its impact and at many levels. Climate change for Bangladesh has resulted in rise of sea level, salinization of coastal land, increased spread of diseases and destruction of the natural eco-system to name a few. Bangladesh is, unfortunately at the most risk, due to climate change among all nations.

The increase in atmospheric Carbon Di-oxide (CO2) gas is the primary reason for climate change. The most CO2 is emitted from engine-driven motor vehicles using natural gas and petroleum (fossil fuels) to operate them. As time passes, more and more fossil fuel is being burned to keep the world moving.

In order to practically and realistically address the issue, it is crucial to reduce the emission of CO2. This can be achieved with the increased use and popularity of EVs or Electric Vehicles. As the name suggests, EVs do not require fossil fuels to be operational and as a result itis a Zero Emission Transportation. The increase usage and number of EVs will certainly help to reduce the emission of CO2.

Statistics[1] suggest that the transport sector is the second largest consumer of energy in Bangladesh, which has been growing at the rate of 8 percent annually (in terms of petroleum consumption), which is faster than any other sector. Presently, this sector contributes to about 15 percent (10 million metric ton) of Bangladesh’s total GHG (Greenhouse gas) emission[2] (Sources: WRI CAIT 2.0, 2015; FAOSTAT, 2015). This is expected to grow significantly over the coming years and it would be beneficial for Bangladesh to consider strategies to adopt a development pathway that is more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

It is apparent that the trend of increased energy consumption will continue and at this rate, the surge in carbon emissions will increase as well. EVs are an environment-friendly means of transportation. As the transport sector is growing in rural Bangladesh, the use of EVs will help in adjusting the energy structure in the country through increasing the use and proportion of non-fossil fuel energy.

Bangladesh is among the topmost climate-vulnerable countries globally, whose emission is less than 0.35% of global emission, but is being affected the most. It is estimated that it would cost Bangladesh about 2% of its GDP by 2050 and 9.4% of GDP by 2100 to combat climate change impacts if the greenhouse gases are not reduced to the prescribed level[3]. In response to the Global commitments, Bangladesh has adopted a two-fold strategy against climate change to reduce future emissions:

   i) Adaptation strategy focusing mainly on increasing resilience to the climate impacts which are affecting livelihoods of population, 

   ii) Mitigation actions that will help to reduce carbon emissions and to move to a low carbon economy. The INDC includes both unconditional and conditional emissions reduction goals for the power, transport, and industry sectors. Source: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) – 2015

Bangladesh’s mitigation actions covers the power, transport and industry sectors. Under a Business As Usual (BAU) scenario, GHG emissions in Bangladesh for these sectors are expected to represent 69% of total emissions by 2030 (excluding LULUCF-, Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry), an increase of 264% by 2030, from 64 MtCO2e in 2011 to 234MtCO2e in 2030. The projection of GHG emissions are portrayed in the following figure[4].

To this end, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – Mitigation are set out as follows:




Contribution assuming

no additional

international support


Bangladesh will reduce its GHG emissions in the power, transport, and industry sectors by 12 MtCO2e by 2030 or 5% below BAU emissions for those sectors.





Contribution assuming


international support


Bangladesh will reduce its GHG emissions in the power, transport, and industry sectors by 36 MtCO2e by 2030 or 15% below BAU emissions for those sectors.


Source: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) - 2015

Stated in context EVs will contribute towards achieving targets in line with several national policies. Some of the key national policies are: The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), the Energy and Climate Change (E&CC) Master Plan and the Renewable Energy Policy 2008.

The BCCSAP covers a range of mitigation objectives (among others) for maximizing the use of renewable energy sources to lower GHG emissions and ensuring more energy security. The E&CC Master Plan sets targets for reducing energy intensity (per GDP) by 20% of 2013 levels, by 2030. The Renewable Energy Policy 2008 sets targets for delivering 10% of national energy needs (by 2020) from renewable sources. So to mitigate global climate change effect and achieve Sustainable development goal (SDG) 7- Affordable and Clean Energy & 10- Climate Change, EVs can play a vital and significant role in Bangladesh. 

Solar powered charging stations will add impetus to the use of EVs as fast charging stations will be powered by abundant solar power and will lessen the impact on the incumbent power grid using (fossil and nuclear fuels). Fast charging stations make it easier for EVs to operate longer hours and achieve more mileage in a day.    

It is interesting to note that more than half a million EVs are currently running on road and transporting about 10 million people every day in Bangladesh. It has become an essential part of our rural and urban life as a transportation. However, the Government of Bangladesh has yet to make any regulatory framework for this sector and the demand for transport. This may create a stumbling block on large scale investments in this flourishing sector.

A sound policy and regulatory framework for EVs as well as renewable energy (RE) powered vehicles will bring these prospective changes - 1) introduce new energy saving technology in rural Bangladesh to reduce pressure on national power grid and conserve environment; 2) improve the rural transportation system to promote socio-economic activities; 3) create employment generation for the youth groups and women; and 4) create investment opportunities for small and big entrepreneurs.

Shaikh Monowar Ahmad;

Head of EV Project (Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd.)






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