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Proton Saga EV concept shown in July 2009

Malaysians can look forward to electric vehicles (EVs) priced under RM100,000 when new models are unveiled in 2017, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Mohamad Madani Sahari has said, Bernama reports.

He mentioned two four-seater EV sedan models, saying a prototype was being developed and expected to be completed in September 2015. He added that production is expected to begin by 2016, before the vehicle (or vehicles) goes on sale in 2017.

To ensure low prices, the government is looking to lease lithium batteries, and the batteries could be locally-assembled to further keep the costs at bay, Madani said, adding that the new EV models could help Malaysia achieve its target of 10% EV contribution to the total industry volume (TIV) by 2020.

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Proton Saga EV developed with Frazer-Nash – read our test drive report from 2011!

“There are also plans to bring in completely-built-up (CBU) EV units next year before introducing completely-knocked-down (CKD) units. The CBU units are of the high-end segment to familiarise buyers with the EV concept before the local EVs come on stream in 2017,” he said.

At present, only two EVs have ever been commercially sold in Malaysia: the RM136k Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the RM169k Nissan Leaf – and that’s with tax exemptions. Meanwhile, COMOS will be offering the Renault Twizy, Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf for rent, and through CarBase.my‘s Car Market Value Guide, we find the Renault Fluence ZE valued at RM145k (tax-free) and the Renault Zoe at RM177k (with tax) – although these are not available for sale.

Of course, we know Proton is developing an all-electric Iriz EV with South Korea’s LG Electronics – but the Iriz is not a sedan. Could one of the models Madani mentioned therefore be a Saga EV…?