Transport minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook (left)

Malaysia aims to attract greater investment from Chinese companies for the development of its own electric vehicle sector, in order to build the infrastructure which will in turn enable the more widespread adoption of EVs, Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said, according to The Star.

At present, the development of supporting infrastructure for electric vehicles presents a major hurdle for Malaysia, however the government is seeking to overcome this by encouraging companies with the relevant expertise and technology to set up their operations in the country, Loke said in an interview with Xinhua.

Electric vehicles are a “major trend” that will shape the development of public transport and personal mobility, for which Malaysia must prepare itself, the transport minister said.

“Our industrial policies are encouraging more EV-related industries to be relocated to Malaysia, especially on producing batteries in Malaysia. There are incentives in place to encourage more companies to relocate to Malaysia, and I was made to understand that there are a lot of Chinese companies who are actually interested to invest in Malaysia in terms of putting their plants here,” Loke said.

Any infrastructure that is put in place must be carried out with sustainability in mind and with an eye on integration and interconnectivity, the transport minister said, and the drive for EVs being part of the Malaysian government’s plans to improve the transport sector would spur greater economic activity, the transport minister said in the Xinhua interview.

“We must look at the transportation sector not just as transporting from A to B, but more as an economic multiplier. It must bring value to economic development, [and] bring value to that particular region and area [where] you have that transportation network. So, whatever transportation project [we carry out], we must look at the economic side of it,” Loke was quoted as saying.