KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — The government is optimistic that local car manufacturers will be able to produce the first national electric vehicle (EV) by 2025, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) said.
Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said local car makers have embarked on research and development (R&D), including investing in producing the country’s first EV.
“At Miti, they have shared an update on their plan; our team from Miti was also quite involved in understanding the progress. Therefore, so far it looks achievable. If you hear national (car) companies’ briefings, we will be able to achieve the goal we are aiming for in 2025,” he told the media after launching the smart #1 EV today.
He added that Proton Holdings Bhd has also shown its commitment to investing in EV charging stations.
Hence, Tengku Zafrul said he is confident Malaysia will be able to achieve its target of providing 10,000 EV charging units nationwide by 2025.
On the affordability of EVs, Tengku Zafrul said the government has proposed that more EV makers locally assemble completely knocked-down (CKD) units to keep prices affordable.
“The government does give a lot of incentives for EVs, but as mentioned earlier, these incentives must be enjoyed by all Malaysians, not just those who can afford them. We want to democratise the use of EVs. We want to make sure more people can afford them.
“On EV road tax, we have discussed it at the National EV Steering Committee (NEVSC). Transport Minister Anthony Loke is finalising it now and I believe he will make an announcement soon,” he said.
In his speech, Tengku Zafrul said the entry of a world class automaker such as Smart into the Malaysian market underscores the country’s relevance in the regional automotive landscape, particularly in the EV segment. He said Smart’s vast global experience and access to leading technologies would have a spillover effect on the local industry in generating new ideas and spurring high-tech research and development (R&D).
“More importantly, the potential for job creation will be immense where new skillsets are required to meet the demands of this emerging sector.
“This will not only attract talent but promote entrepreneurship in the EV space,” he said, adding that the new collaboration will also support the Automotive High-Tech Valley (AHTV) in Tanjung Malim, Perak, in its vision to be a high technology automotive hub and the prime location for future car development by the Proton group.
Proton Holding’s wholly owned Proton New Technology Sdn Bhd (Pro-Net) is the exclusive distributor for smart #1 in Malaysia and Thailand.
Pro-Net chief executive officer Zhang Qiang said the company is committed to reshaping the landscape of premium all-electric mobility in the country.
“Our dedication lies in reshaping consumer confidence through exceptional aftersales service, which includes readily available parts, an integrated public charging map, and a seamless digital ecosystem. We firmly believe the key to success is to place customer needs and desires at the heart of every product and service we offer,” he said.
Zhang said Pro-Net is targeting to achieve a sales target of 800 to 1,000 units of smart #1 next year, after receiving 500 bookings even before announcing its official price. He said 80 per cent of the bookings were received digitally via the Hello smart application, of which 60 per cent were for the smart#1 Brabus model.
smart #1 comes in three variants, namely, Pro, Premium and Brabus priced at RM189,000, RM219,000 and RM249,000, respectively.
Zhang said Pro-Net aims to export the vehicle to Thailand by the middle of next year. — Bernama