Barisan Nasional (BN) has pledged to abolish the approved permit (AP) requirement for all imported electric vehicles (EVs) should it win the 15th General Election, which is set to take place on November 19. The initiative was highlighted in the party’s manifesto for GE15 that it unveiled last night.

According to BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the move is aimed at making EVs more accessible to the rakyat, while also ensuring that the country’s future would be sustainable and safe. “To that end, we will abolish all import permits or APs for all types of electric cars to ensure wider access to affordable eco-friendly vehicles,” he said.

The plan to abolish APs for EVs is essentially a development from the AP fee exemption that was outlined during Budget 2023, in which it was stated that all imported EVs were set to be exempted from AP fees from January 1 to December 31, 2023. Should it be delivered, the new initiative would remove that timeframe completely and open up the market.

What this does is make it easier for EV makers to set up a sales channel in Malaysia, as there will no longer be a need to look for a local partner for franchise AP purposes. Car importers who are looking to bring in EVs will also be incentivised to do so with the removal of the AP fee.

The removal of the AP hurdle could result in a wider variety of EVs entering the market, and it would also potentially make them cheaper, provided companies pass the savings from not paying the AP fee on to customers. Regular internal combustion engined cars will however continue to be subject to AP requirements. What are your thoughts on this? Share them in the comments section.

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