Published on February 21st, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Toyota Beyond Zero Showcase Hopes To Broaden Tengku Zafrul Stance

The Toyota Beyond Zero Showcase was initiated this week in Malaysia for one man… mostly.

In 2022, before Anwar’s “Unity” government came into power, the former Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul announced that EVs would get a host of major incentives. One of these was pretty excessive – 0% import tax and excise duties would be levied for a period of time. This policy is why you see so many electric vehicle launches in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, most Japanese car companies don’t think pure electric is the only way forward. One such company is Toyota, who launched their Beyond Zero showcase today in KL to show the government all the other options on the table.

Tengku Zafrul, now the Minister of Trade and Industry opened the showcase, paying lip service to Toyota’s multi-pathway approach to clean energy and carbon neutrality but not making any firm commitments.

Toyota brought a number of their alternative energy vehicles including Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and even a mock-up of their hydrogen fuel powered vehicle. Some of these were quite interesting.

We saw a Toyota Grandace AND a Corolla Cross with hydrogen fuel cell powertrains as well as a Toyota Hilux BEV prototype.

The ones that interested us most were the Toyota bZ4X and the Lexus RZ 450e – these are the two e-TNGA electric products that will benefit from tax-free pricing should UMW Toyota decide to launch them in the coming months.

What’s more, we even got to drive (and be driven) in a number of these vehicles including: hydrogen fuel cell prototypes of the Toyota Hilux and a Hino truck, plus the aforementioned bZ4X and a Toyota Camry Hybrid. The test track was extremely short, so here are some very quick impressions.

The Camry Hybrid still had the same great engine note as the petrol 2.5L, and really didn’t feel too far removed from the petrol model in terms of feel. The bZ4X suffers from some ergonomic issues related to floor height and instrument cluster location but definitely feels more Toyota than Subaru in terms of switchgear. The Toyota Hilux FCEV was nothing at all like the diesel, even omitting its hydraulic power steering for an EPS system. It is still being developed.

Visit the Beyond Zero showcase yourself. It’s open to the public until 28 February at the Technology Park Malaysia.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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