BMW Group Malaysia today launched the BMW EfficientDynamics showcase at Pavillion, Bukit Bintang, with the centrepiece of the exhibit being the BMW Active E electric coupe that we test drove last week. Read our test drive report to find out more about the EV coupe.

“The BMW Active E is BMW’s next systematic step towards an emission-free mobility solution and demonstrates our leadership and commitment in Sustainable Innovation as facilitated through the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy,” said BMW Malaysia’s MD Geoffrey Briscoe.

The showcase intends to provide Malaysians an understanding of the various technologies that the premium automotive industry employs to improve fuel efficiency and allow for greener motoring.

“The Malaysian government’s extension of full exemption of import duty and excise duty on hybrid and electric cars until 2013 is an important first step as it also initiates the momentum towards the establishment of a roadmap for mass adoption of clean and green technology in the automotive industry. However, more can and should be done to include immediate technologies available today such as advanced petrol and diesel engines which run on lower sulphur content Euro IV specification fuel, as well as the introduction of incentives for all hybrid technology including those for hybrid vehicles above the 2 litre capacity,” said Briscoe, in reference on the recent Budget announcement.

“BMW Group Malaysia has made strong commitments to the country in its efforts to promote the use of clean and sustainable technology which has led to the introduction of advanced assembly techniques and technology to the country, first with the introduction of Advanced Diesel technology and hopefully with other sustainable drivetrains in the near future,” said Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, who officiated the showcase.

BMW has quite a few strategies for fuel efficiency and green motoring in their stables – they’ve got the EfficientDynamics diesel models, the ActiveHybrid petrol electric hybrids, and an upcoming range of plug-in charging pure electric vehicles. They also dabbled with hydrogen power in the past.

But according to Malaysia’s NAP, only hybrid and electric vehicles are able to get duty exemptions, so none of BMW’s EfficientDynamics diesel models qualify to be brought in with a tax break. And these (models like the 320d and 520d EfficientDynamics) are the only BMW models that are relatively affordable – the petrol hybrids are all expensive high end items and the EVs are not mass production ready yet.

As it stands, none of the BMW ActiveHybrid models qualify for tax breaks because of engine sizes of over 2.0 litres in displacement – Malaysia’s hybrid tax breaks only allow for engine sizes of 2.0 litres and below, which explains why the Toyota Prius can be sold here, but not the Camry Hybrid.

For some reason BMW finds the need to equip its hybrids with turbocharged inline-6 and V8 engines when they now have smaller engines at their disposal. I had hoped for the ActiveHybrid 3 to get their new 2.0 litre inline-4 turbo engine so the Lexus CT 200h will have some competition in the premium segment.