During the presentation of its sales performance for the first half of 2019, Perodua let slip a little more about its future plans than usual. Asked about the national carmaker’s plans for electrification, president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad ruled out any form of fully electric vehicles in the near future.

According to Zainal, the company doesn’t see EVs as a good fit for the local market. He said that Malaysia obtains more of its electricity from gas and coal than from renewable sources like hydropower, compared to more developed countries that are better suited to electric transportation.

One route that Perodua is more likely to go down, he said, is hybrids. It has already shown a concept at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) last year – derived from Daihatsu, it is projected to work just like any other parallel hybrid, using either an internal combustion engine, an electric motor or both to propel the vehicle. It derives electricity, stored in a battery, from kinetic energy recuperated under deceleration.

Perodua still has some ways to go to match the Daihatsu Mira e:S’ 34.2 km per litre

Zainal declined to provide a timeline for the introduction of a hybrid model, but its presence at KLIMS suggests that it will be sooner rather than later. Whatever it is, the main focus is currently on delivering reduced fuel consumption and emissions, be it from hybrids or solely from fossil fuels.

He said that the company is already achieving fuel efficiency figures as high as 22 km per litre, and its parent company Daihatsu sells a model in Japan (the Mira e:S) that is capable of upwards of 30 km per litre, so there’s definitely still scope for improvement, even with an ICE.

GALLERY: Perodua hybrid concept at KLIMS 2018