Connect with us


Motor traders caution govt on sustainable electrification



The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA), the most senior automotive association in South Asia welcomes the government’s view that Electric Vehicles (EVs) represent the future of mobility, not just in Sri Lanka, but around the world. While the benefits of EVs are very clear in terms of reduced emissions and fuel savings, the CMTA cautions that the transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to EVs – commonly referred to as electrification – should be carried out with proper planning and informed decision making, to preserve the interests of the Government, consumers, and the industry.

Being the only Association, which has access to global EV manufacturers and represents them in Sri Lanka, the CMTA is concerned whether due diligence has been carried out prior to the re-introduction of EVs to Sri Lanka. In this regard, the Association on the advice of global manufacturers has decided to develop a detailed automotive industry roadmap with KPMG, covering among other topics the sustainable introduction of EVs. This roadmap will be presented to the government authorities for expert advisory on the automotive industry.

As per the recommendations of global EV manufacturers, the CMTA has put forward several considerations to policy makers. Firstly, High Voltage (HV) Battery and the power management systems of EVs should be suitable for local climatic conditions as they are highly sensitive and must be adapted by the manufacturer for the specific country/region of use. Further, a minimum manufacturer’s warranty on the HV batteries of at least 5 years for passenger vehicles and 3 years for 2/3 wheelers should be required to protect consumers from crippling expenses and to negate premature foreign exchange outflow for defective batteries and related parts replacements, considering the extremely high costs of these parts. In addition, EV repairers should comply with globally accepted safety standards on infrastructure, including safety equipment, training, and isolation areas for vehicles/HV batteries in a hazardous state (e.g. after an accident).

To promote a sustainable path to electrification, the CMTA urged the government to establish a legal framework regarding end-of-life handling of HV batteries and other components, as if not disposed properly, HV batteries can be extremely hazardous to the environment and groundwater systems, which can also have implications to public health. It also emphasized the need for minimum technical standards of HV battery imports to avoid low quality battery imports and encouraged joint ventures with foreign companies with the technical expertise to set up sophisticated HV battery recycling/rebuilding facilities in the country.

Public infrastructure is also key for a successful mass-scale electrification. Reputed global EV manufacturers all emphasize the necessity for developing a public fast-charging network to give EV users peace of mind and allow them to embark on longer journeys. In terms of training facilities and resources for EV repairs, it is mandatory to enhance the curriculum at technical training institutes to create a pool of certified EV technicians who can cater to future EV repair demands.

Commenting on the timely topic of EVs, the CMTA Chairman, Yasendra Amerasinghe said, “Vehicle electrification if implemented will bode well for a country like Sri Lanka with distances between major towns being within the range of most modern EVs. Electrification is – without a doubt – the future, and we would like to see the authorities taking the necessary steps to create a conducive environment for sustainable electrification, as an improper roll-out can cause harm to consumers and the industry.”

In making a balanced and informed decision on electrification, the CMTA points out that policy makers should be aware that transitioning passenger vehicles to EVs while continuing with fossil fuel commercial vehicles may not have the expected impact on fuel imports as a significant proportion of fuel is consumed by commercial vehicles. The issue of the existing older passenger vehicles in the country would also need to be addressed through a scrapping or re-export policy to have an appreciable impact on the country’s fuel consumption.

Authorities should also be mindful that the import cost of an EV model is 20-30% higher than its ICE equivalent, which is only offset by the reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs over a few years.

The year 2015 witnessed the introduction of EVs to the Sri Lankan market at extremely low import duties without much forethought and against the recommendations of the CMTA at the time. The result was an influx of grey (used) vehicles, which now are a great burden to around 5,000 EV owners due to battery failures. To date, there is no viable solution for these customers who are forced to sell their vehicles at far below market value, convert them to gasoline engines and use them with illegal registrations or continue to use them with failed batteries with a limited range of around 40-60km. Looking ahead, the CMTA suggests learning from the mistakes of 2015 and considering the recommendations provided by reputed global EV manufacturers for sustainable electrification.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Dulux colours Architect 2023 exhibition with vibrant and engaging presence



Dulux -Sri Lanka’s, a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings – is celebrating the successful close of its participation at Architect 2023, also taking home an award for the ‘Best Trade Stall with Innovative Use of Colour’.

Organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects -and now in its 41st year- this year’s edition of the Architect 2023 annual trade fair took place from February 24-26 at the BMICH, and witnessed greater participation from leading companies and entrepreneurs actively involved in the various construction and architecture sectors; both locally and internationally, a company news release said.

“Dulux established a strong presence at the event with a spectacular exhibit themed Colour Futures ’23, featuring its 2023 Colour of the Year: Wild Wonder. Visitors to the stand were able to explore the four colour palettes, Lush, Buzz, Raw and Flow, inspired by the nature-influenced theme, with Dulux colour experts on hand providing unique trade insight, and also advising visitors on how best the shades can be implemented into their own work and living spaces,” it said.

“The popular mascot, “Dulux Dog” was also present to playfully engage with exhibition attendees and brighten up the vibrant Dulux stall even further. The Dulux exhibit proved widely popular among attendees to Architect 2023, due to its powerful display of colour in both interior & Exterior spaces. “

“Architect 2023 was a great opportunity for Dulux to learn from fellow trade professionals, and also to introduce visitors to the latest trends and insights from the global paints and coatings landscape,” said Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Sri Lanka. “We’ve maintained a strong long-standing relationship with the SLIA, and have every intention of being back again next year as well.”

Continue Reading


ACCA reaffirms ComBank as Best among Sri Lankan banks for Sustainable Reporting



Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr S. Prabagar (third from left) receives the ACCA award. The Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking & Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe (second from right) and Senior Manager – Sustainability, Women’s Banking & CSR Mrs Kamalini Ellawala (extreme right) are also in the picture

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the best among all Sri Lankan banks in sustainability reporting at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards for 2022 presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka.

As the winner in the ‘Banking’ category Commercial Bank was recognised for being one of the most transparent, accountable, and responsible entities in the country. The award was presented for the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ which among other aspects, explores the Bank’s evolving operating context in which social and environmental concerns are brought to the centre of its corporate agenda.

Prepared in line with the International <IR> framework, this Annual Report also presents the Bank’s social and environmental impacts as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards: Core option. Additionally, it reports on the Bank’s contribution towards the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals.

The Report also features a dedicated section on ‘Business model for sustainable value creation’ and discloses information on loans screened through the Bank’s Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), paper reduction and recycling initiatives, increased usage of renewable energy, and switching to energy-efficient appliances under the section on ‘Natural Capital.’ Indicators of value derived in this category include reduced energy consumption in gigajoules, number of facilities subjected to SEMS screening, number of new solar panel installation locations, number of internet banking and mobile banking users, and solar power generated as a percentage of energy consumption.

Commercial Bank’s high standards in comprehensive reporting area result of the Bank’s commitment to being a responsible financial entity and shaping its work ethics around sustainable business practices, the Bank said. Last year too, Commercial Bank topped the ACCA awards in the Banking category, in addition to winning the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report of 2020.

Notably, Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report also won four awards including a Gold for ‘Interior Design,’ and a Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ at the 2022 edition of the MerComm ARC Awards which is the world’s largest annual report competition.

The Bank’s sustainability initiatives include lending to support sustainable and green operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, improving efficiency in the use of energy, water and other resources in its own operations and supporting community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment. Its support to a mangrove restoration project in Koggala and marine turtle conservation initiative in Panama are examples of its commitment to environmental conservation.

The Bank pioneered a mandatory social and environmental screening process for its project lending activities and was the first bank in Sri Lanka to venture into Green Financing. It also revolutionised digital banking by introducing features in its ‘Flash’ mobile application to measure and offset customer impact on the environment.

Continue Reading


Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC prioritizes psychological wellbeing in view of Women’s Day



Seen here are a few women at Ex-Pack cutting the cake

In view of the marking the International Women’s Day, Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC held an insightful event at their state-of-the-art factory premises in Kelaniya, highlighting the importance of psychological wellbeing and how Ex-Pack is taking up measures in ensuring an enabling environment for its 300 strong workforce, based on its wider DEI policies.

Various global studies have shown that women are impacted at much higher rates than men when it comes to mental illnesses. The session celebrated their achievements and life stories, and shared some eye-opening tips, facts, know how’s, to-dos, and various other influential factors including the dire need to change our perspectives on women’s roles, health and wellness. This also touched upon the emotional and social aspects of wellbeing too.

This year’s theme is centered on #EmbraceEquity, and Ex-Pack is no stranger when it comes to pursuing gender equality in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by male. As one of leading corrugated cartons manufacturer in Sri Lanka delivering end-to-end packaging solutions to both local and international clientele, and a subsidiary of Aberdeen Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Ex-Pack actively encourages more female participation.

‘With this year’s theme being #EmbraceEquity, we take great pride in being an ambassador and role model in our industry. We go beyond just equal opportunities to pro-actively collaborate with everyone, to ensure that our talented women have every possible resource at their disposal and are given all the required support to succeed both professionally and personally,’ said M. Zulficar Ghouse, Managing Director- Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC

Ex-Pack has long been engaged with providing equal career opportunities, and both men and women

are respected, rewarded and compensated equally. The company also has an open-door policy for all employees. Women empowerment stems directly from the top leadership, recognizing that women and their strengths are crucial to both the company and the overall economy.

Continue Reading