Alongside the launch of the National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014) Roadmaps earlier today, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been exchanged between Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and three other parties on the development and manufacturing of an electric bus, lithium-ion battery and Public Transport Information System (PTIS).
The signed cooperation involves MAI, ARCA Corporation Sdn Bhd, AutoCRC Ltd and Swinburne University of Technology, and will see out the project from the research to commercialisation processes. It’s an extension to the existing cooperation between Malaysia and Australia under the Malaysia Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA).
Commercial release of some elements and key components of this “next-generation transport technology” will begin in the second quarter of this year, though the electric bus project will only bear its first working prototype in the first quarter of 2015. Commercialisation of the E-Bus is expected to commence in 2016.
As announced, the electric vehicle (EV) driveline – designed specifically for the E-Bus – will be a modular system that can be tailor-suited to fit various applications. As such, it can be fully customised to meet any passenger capacity and/or range requirements.
The first planned deployment of the E-Bus will be in Putrajaya and Langkawi, due to their relatively simple routing and range requirements. Local company ARCA Corporation will provide an outlay of RM200 million towards these projects, which covers all the necessary infrastructure groundwork as well.
Next in line will be greater Kuala Lumpur, followed by the possibility of supplying the E-Bus across South East Asia. Indonesian capital Jakarta, in particular, has been singled out as a big potential market.