Above: Proton Iriz EV prototype in South Korea

Budget 2015 will be tabled in Parliament this Friday, and ahead of that, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) hopes the government will extend the excise duty exemptions given to locally-assembled (CKD) hybrid and electric vehicles, reports The Star.

The latest iteration of the National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014) officially brought an end to duty exemptions for all electric vehicles (EV) and hybrids with engines displacing under 2.0 litres.

The tax breaks are now reserved instead for those that are assembled in Malaysia (this time with no engine size limitations), with those for hybrids set to expire on December 31, 2015 and those for EVs set to end on December 31, 2017. Only two cars currently qualify for these tax breaks – the Honda Jazz Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz S 400 L Hybrid.

Above: Honda Jazz Hybrid – the first hybrid vehicle to be assembled in Malaysia

“What the MAA is requesting is for the time period (for the tax exemption) to be longer so that it can be more viable,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad told StarBiz, adding that she hoped there would be incentives to encourage electric vehicle- (EV) related infrastructure, like the setting up of more charging stations and reductions in battery costs.

MAA statistics say 51,125 vehicles found Malaysian homes in August 2014 – a mild leap from 51,106 in the same month last year – while 444,534 units were sold year-to-date in August 2014, representing a 2.7% jump over last year’s 433,025, The Star reports. A few months back, MAA raised its 2014 total industry volume (TIV) forecast to 680,000 units – 10,000 more than before.

So what can we expect from Budget 2015? Last week, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Madani Sahari said that Budget 2015’s auto-related matters are likely to be aligned with NAP 2014’s aspirations. Budget 2015 is also expected to yield a list of zero-rated or tax-exempted items with respect to the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) – will our petrol and diesel be GST-ed?

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