Conference on Electric Cars

NaradaAmaratunga PataliChampikaRanawala

Seminar on Electric Vehicles organized by the Engineers’ Guild of Sri Lanka explains that electric car boom continues in 2015 recording a YOY growth of a staggering3600%
The seminar on Electric Vehicles organized by the Engineers’ Guild of Sri Lanka jointly with the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) took place on the 15th July 2015 at the OPA Auditorium with the participation of around 125 professionals from varied fields reflecting the keen interest in the electric car boom that has hit Sri Lanka.

At the event Hon.PataliChampikaRanawala MP, Minister of Power & Energy addressed the gathering as the Chief Guest and elaborated on the government incentives on electric vehicles made to the benefit of the public. The seminar included two more presentations covering areas of technical aspects, advantages of electric vehicles and also the program of setting up rapid charging stations island wide.

The presentation made by NaradaAmaratunga of AUTOSAFE elucidated that in fact Colombo leads the pack as the fastest growing city in Asia and has shown a tremendous enthusiasm in the rates of adoption in electric vehicles as evidenced by the statics recorded in Department of Motor Registration showing consumer willingness to support green transportation.
It was explained that electric vehicles are the fastest-growing alternative to oil-derived gasoline. The presentation included statistics of the Department of Motor Traffic showing a staggering year on year growth of 3600% in the month of May 2015 from that of 2014.

Month 2014 2015
January 4 15
February 6 14
March 6 29
April 4 148
May 10 360

As indicated by statistics Sri Lankan consumers bought 100 all-electric vehicles in 2014 where as in May 2015 alone consumers have purchased 360 electric motorcars, led by the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and BMW i3, putting the total number of EVs at 566 for the year 2015 so far. The growth patterns indicate that purchasers of electric cars have more than doubled on a month on month comparison


NaradaAmaratunga of AUTOSAFE commenting on the high rate of adoption of electric vehicles stated “The big innovation in the LEAF is the affordability and availability of an all-electric but otherwise a very normal car. The LEAF is the first affordable, mass produced, EV with the size, speed, and range performance to meet a large percentage of people’s driving needs”. He added that the price of the LEAF is a game changer for the EV industry.
The data shows not only a recent explosive growth in electric cars, but a clear link between government incentives, mainly through tax breaks, and the wider adoption of vehicles that more efficiently use energy and help reduce smog and the respiratory ailments caused partly by vehicle exhaust. With the taxes on electric vehicles being reduced from 25% to 5% through the new government’s interim budget, Power & Energy Minister’s attention has been drawn towards establishing re-charging centers island-wide.

Yet another reason for the increase is the running costs of an electric vehicle being cheaper than a fossil fuel car. However he commented that the primary consideration of every potential consumer who is eager to be a proprietor of an electric vehicle is the availability of charging stations Island wide. Most of the problems initially associated with electric vehicles are gradually being resolved he said.Commenting on “Range anxiety” which is the fear of running out of charge as the battery runs out of power of those who drive pure electric cars and still worry about getting stranded,he further stated that: “Range anxiety will go away with the increase of range by the manufacturers and the availability of charging stations island wide”.


Upon a statistical comparison between the growth rate of Hybrid cars Vs Electric vehicles, the hybrid cards indicate a marginal growth pattern since January 2015 and in the month of February showing a negative growth whereas electric vehicles are showing an average of 3600% month on month growth.

New Registrations of Motor Vehicles 2015
Petrol Hybrid Electric
January 2099 4371 15
February 2042 2819 14
March 3581 2978 29
April 3177 2362 148
May 3475 2731 360

The presentations made indicated that hybrid cars are undoubtedly more efficient than conventional gas cars, saving drivers money and doing less harm to the environment. However, they don’t really have any additional benefits as the plug-in, battery-electric cars, which have an excellent acceleration, offer owners much greater convenience and time savings than with gas cars, and are often much cheaper in the long term. They are also tremendously more efficient than gasoline or conventional hybrid cars. Given the fall in the oil price, which has made conventional motoring cheaper, you might have thought that electric vehicles would be falling out of favour. In fact, the opposite has happened. Electric cars offer so many benefits over gasoline cars that one could be convinced electric cars will replace gasoline cars in short order.

The seminar on Electric Vehicles organized by the Engineers’ Guild of Sri Lanka jointly with the
OPA concluded with a Q&A session that provide the opportunity for participants to levy their queries to the panel present on various aspects of the suitability of electric mobility to fulfil the daily transportation needs of consumers.


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