Much has been said about making Malaysia a hub for energy efficient vehicles (EEV), and the government will unveil policies on EEVs by the first half of this year, Bernama reports.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that this would provide good opportunities and a level-playing field for local and foreign players in the industry.
“This is one of the segments that we think is important under the ongoing revised National Automotive Policy (NAP). We have decided this is the segment that we need to open up in the near future,” he said at the launch of KLIMS 13 at PWTC yesterday.
He said the government is ironing out policy details such as on technology, fuel emission, standards and quality, adding that Malaysia is the only ASEAN country focusing on the EEV market. From the latter part of the above statement, we know that the government’s definition of EEV excludes small and cheap fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars that Thailand’s Eco Car programme is all about.
“All the stakeholders in the automotive trade have agreed on two things – that we should make the production and marketing of EEV the future focus of the industry and that we should seek to establish a leadership position in the region for this sub-sector,” he said.
The minister said that although the government has not announced the final shape and form of the revised NAP, it will first roll out pre-packaged customised incentives to support the development of the EEV sub-sector. This is all part of the transition period towards the opening up of the automotive market in 2015-2016.
“With 2015 and 2016 around the corner, everyone in the motor sector is aware that they have to open up, and all of them are gearing up to face new reality and new competition,” he added.
In July 2012, Honda Malaysia announced that it will be producing hybrid vehicles in Malaysia, starting with the CKD Jazz Hybrid that was launched in November. With a concrete EEV policy in place, the government will be hoping more carmakers follow suit.