Published on July 7th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Why Malaysians rush to buy a luxury plug-in hybrid

The biggest and most obvious reason to buy a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) or an EV (electric vehicle) is the tax incentive from the Malaysian government. For example, the latest BMW 330e PHEV gets a RM120,000 tax incentive from the Malaysian government bringing its selling price down from a hefty RM368,800 to just a sensible RM248,800 which is about the price of a regular BMW 320 petrol and or diesel.

It must be noted that a diesel powered BMW costs more to produce (manufacturing costs is higher) than a petrol BMW and a plug-in hybrid BMW costs even more due to the added technology, battery packs and features that have been added to the petrol powered car. So, most Malaysians rush to buy a PHEV Volvo XC90, BMW X5 PHEV, Mercedes S400 Hybrid or Mercedes C350 PHEV to save on tax and NOT to save on fuel at all, and this is a fact.

If Malaysians were really looking to save fuel, then a luxury sedan will not be the answer and instead a simple eco-friendly sedan like the 1.5-liter EcoBoost Ford Focus, 1.5L Honda City or the 1.5L Toyota Vios will be the preferred buy.

The tax breaks given by the tax department prompts Malaysian to buy a PHEV and EV and enjoy the savings…..not the savings on their fuel bills.

There are zero environmental reasons or the love of nature. The Malaysians who are actually looking and wanting to ‘save the earth’ and be Co2 friendly cannot afford a luxury PHEV or EV.

If they could afford a PHEV or EV, they would have bought out all the Nissan Leafs that came to town a few years ago and would be lining up to buy a Renault Zoe electric car. Both the Zoe and Leaf have seen very little interest despite their below RM150k pricing and the reason for this is its pricing against range anxiety.

‘Green Lovers’ in Malaysia cannot even afford cars beyond RM75k and this is a fact. So, they end of buying car with low engine cubic capacity (small engine) and simple basic features. This is a fact!

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