The ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) recently met local industry players to talk about electric vehicles and the development of the local EV industry.

This was revealed by deputy minister Liew Chin Tong, who represented MITI and minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in a townhall meeting with the local automotive industry, represented by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), Proton and Perodua. P2 president and CEO Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad and Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah are seen in the pictures that Liew tweeted.

“In our discussion about the future of the automotive industry, many agreed that development of EV is the way forward,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said. “Investment for technological upgrade, knowledge and expertise transfer to build a robust local industry should be the main goals of the automotive industry,” he added.

More incentives for local players are almost certainly on the cards. In September, MITI secretary general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said that the ministry has proposed that more EV incentives be included in Budget 2023.

“MITI as well as various ministries, agencies, industry players and associations have agreed that we should place [more] emphasis in building efficient and quality infrastructure for charging stations,” he said.

“We realise the need to ensure the regulatory process is facilitative enough towards ensuring a conducive environment for the EV industry to thrive. In fact, MITI has actually put up a few proposals for Budget 2023; certain incentives to ensure that local industry players are be able to compete in the EV ecosystem,” he added.

Budget 2023, presented by the previous administration in October, had the current import duty and excise duty exemption for CBU EVs extended till December 31, 2024. The original and current duty-free scheme is to end on December 31, 2023 for CBU EVs, and up to December 31, 2025 for CKD locally-assembled EVs.

Also included was the exemption of approved permit (AP) fee for EVs, potentially making imported EVs even cheaper, if companies pass the AP savings to customers.

The MAA, which represents carmakers in our country, was previously quoted as saying that it wants EV incentives to go on for 10 years. “We seek extension of full import and excise tax exemption for CBU EVs while the market is preparing for the growth of EVs in Malaysia. We hope there will be incentives for up to 10 years,” president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said in September, adding that efforts to locally assemble CKD EVs are in progress.

Budget 2023 was presented by former finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul, who is now MITI minister.