Published on May 19th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
ELECTRIC MOBILITY Revolution Coming To Malaysia
The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) in collaboration with Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) recently organised Charge Up 1.0, an industry-wide stakeholder engagement session to highlight the immense potential of the electric vehicle (EV) industry in Malaysia.
The day long engagement session gathered 80 international and local industry leaders with reports from Renault, GreenTech Malaysia and the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI). The discussions revolved around EVs being a disruptive innovation in the automotive landscape, how Malaysia can leverage off this economically and means to promote the growth of the EV marketplace in Malaysia.
Speaking on the importance of EVs, Tan Sri Peter Chin, Chairman of GreenTech Malaysia said, “Electric mobility offers Malaysia a strategy to mitigate environmental pollution while being a potentially important driver for economic growth. As proven globally, EVs offer a technologically-advanced, environmentally-friendly transportation option which will benefit both the country and consumers.”
“The wide-scale adoption of EVs would spur an entire sub-industry value chain including technology, innovation, charging infrastructure, recycling mechanisms, maintenance and service. This would generate new avenues of business and create more job opportunities,” he continued.
Reports shared during the session revealed that global sales of EVs reached 175,000 units in 2014, a 54% increase from 2013’s numbers. These figures indicate that EVs have out-paced hybrids in terms of customer demand, with 25 times more EV purchases in Europe during the first 14 months of its introduction as compared to the sales of hybrids during the first 14 months of its debut.
The panel discussion chaired by Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris, CEO of GreenTech Malaysia witnessed representatives from KeTTHA, Renault and MAI focus on Government policies and regulatory support that would be pivotal to driving the growth of the sector.
At the discussion, Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris shared, “Globally, electric mobility is a booming industry. In ASEAN, it is a nascent industry with a relatively level playing field and as such Malaysia has a golden opportunity to become an industry leader and a hub for EV innovation. This is why it is vital for all stakeholders including Government bodies and private organisations to collaborate and align our various policies and initiatives to help realise the potential of EVs.”
One of the key speakers and panellists for the day, Eric Feunteun, Director of Renault’s Electric Vehicle Global Program said, “Any country that wants to create a fertile environment for the rollout of electric vehicles must make available incentives and exemptions to offset the financial cost of adoption. Government incentives are particularly critical for EVs before momentum kicks in through word of mouth and broader social acceptance.”
“Today’s engagement session with key stakeholders is indeed an important step forward in establishing a steady foundation for a flourishing EV economy. Malaysia now has an opportunity to be the Norway of South-East Asia and Renault looks forward to offering our expertise towards this collective objective,” he said.
There was a strong call from the majority of attendees for steps to be taken to increase the affordability and options of EVs to establish EVs as a key player in the Malaysian automotive marketplace that would in turn lead to long-term economic gains for the country.
Participants were also given the opportunity to experience driving EVs first-hand during a test drive session. The delegates got hands-on time with some of the world’s most popular EVs, the Renault Zoe, Renault Twizy, Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The stakeholder engagement was represented by prominent delegates from the public sector, including those from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport, the Road Transport Department of Malaysia and PEMANDU. Also on hand at discussions were private sector representatives from BMW Malaysia, Tan Chong (Motors) Group, Mercedes Benz Malaysia, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia, UMW Toyota Motor, Volvo Car Malaysia, Proton, Eclimo, CMS Consortium, BYD Auto, AMDAC, Prasarana Integrated Development and Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Meanwhile, representatives from key financial institutions included Bank Negara, Maybank, RHB Bank, Public Bank, Affin Bank and Hong Leong Bank amongst others.