SEOUL, Nov 28 – Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) is partnering with a consortium consisting of South Korean company, Edison Motors Co Ltd, and an undisclosed Malaysian company to establish the first electric bus assembly plant in Malaysia.

The partnership comes with an initial investment of US$100 (RM417) million.

In a meeting chaired by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Darell Leiking, both parties also discussed the possibility of technology transfer.

The meeting was held in conjunction with Darell’s participation in Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s two-day official visit to Seoul which ended yesterday.

MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said a study is expected to be conducted as early as next month to determine size of fleet, size of plant and the level of parts and component localisation.

He said Edison Motors was chosen for its track record as supplier of the world’s first commercial electric bus and leader of electric bus sales in South Korea, and cutting edge composite body for both electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.

“The company’s electric bus has a future-oriented design, state-of-the-art performance and affordable price,” he told Bernama after the meeting on Wednesday.

He said the company also supplied electric buses to Japan.

Madani said the collaboration would be utilising the expertise of MARii in telematics and electric vehicle powertrain, technology transfer to local electric vehicle bus manufacturers and as potential supplier of chassis to domestic bus builders.

He added that the collaboration was targeting to supply electric buses to the domestic and Asean region.

To extend the impact of the project, some level of assembly is planned in Sabah for the state and Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.

Meanwhile, Leiking also chaired a meeting with MARii and EN Technologies Inc from South Korea to introduce the energy storage system (ESS) in Malaysia.

Madani said the ESS would involve an initial layout of US$50 (RM208.5) million and could be applied for microgrid, renewable integration, spinning reserve, peak shaving and uninterruptible power source (UPS).

“ESS is cost effective and clean. By storing the energy produced in battery and releasing it on demand, ESS improves power quality and reliability of the energy resources. When ESS is integrated with renewable energy, such as solar, it improves intermittency of the energy resource,” he said.

Madani said the meeting also discussed transfer of technology for ESS from EN Technologies to Malaysian companies and consultation on other necessary technologies such as battery and inverter.

The transfer of technology includes related software and electric vehicle chargers for cars and buses. — Bernama