The framework was critical in driving the development of EEVs comprising internal combustion engine, hybrid and electric powertrains, among others, Madani added.
Tax incentives have been given by the government to contract assemblers such as Sime Darby Bhd’s Inokom, Naza Group and DRB-HICOM Bhd after their applications were evaluated by MARii in accordance with the cost-based analyis (CBA).
Under CBA, MARii accesses assemblers based on their investment involving local assembly manufacturing, level of localisation content, local job creation, export volume/market, and new technology utilisation, among others.
The local content of the assembled cars are reassesed by the government before their prices are fixed.
This allows the government via the Automotive Business Development Committee (ABCD) to deliberate the tax incentives for new completely knocked down (CKD) or locally-assembled vehicles.
ABCD comprises representatives from International Trade and Industry Ministry, Finance Ministry, MARii, Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
Car makers also seek incentive via the Industrial Adjustment Fund from the government to assemble vehicles locally.
Madani said electrification would bring in a broader technology requirement, such as power grid enlargement, faster telecommunication speeds, big data management and analysis.
He said new technology requirements include manufacturing and development of products specific to electromobility.
“The growth of EEV penetration in Malaysia was contributed by the National Automotive Policy’s (NAP) framework of customised incentives in 2014, in which car makers that invested in high value activities within Malaysia would be given incentives that were tailored to their individual business models,” he told the New Straits Times recently.
Madani said Malaysia was in a better position to encourage the development of electromobility due to higher electric vehicle (EV) awareness in the country.
“This will be reflected in the upcoming revision of the NAP, due to be announced soon - based on the same customised incentives framework, but with a broader technology,” he added.
He said EV development must be spurred in a conducive and safe manner for both consumer and industry players.
“The new revision of the NAP will continue on its learning curve to create an electrification model that is sustainable for buyers of electromobility, as well as jobs and businesses in the sector so that they can one day lead the lifestyle of electromobility,” he said.
Madani said the government planned to develop an EV Operability Centre (EVIC), a shared test centre for the development of EVs and EV-related products and systems as part of its roadmaps of the NAP.
“The EVIC will be able to test vehicle-grid interoperability, cybersecurity and communication safety in an EV ecosystem, leveraging on big data management to allow real-time reporting and accurate decision making throughout the ecosystem,” he said.
The EVIC will also feature an EV test bed, complete with buildings, charging stations, solar powered energy farming and storage, and weather simulators.
“It will also include data-driven, smart grid integration solutions that allow for measurement and oversight of the entire chain of electromobility, from the point energy is farmed, to the point where energy is consumed in the EVs,” he said.
Madani said new NAP would continue its focus on development of ecosystems for Next Generation Vehicles, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and Industry 4.0 technologies, while continuing its focus on enhancing the development of EEVs.
“The more advanced EEV powertrains, such as those in full battery electric vehicles and fuel cell based vehicle technologies, have been gaining popularity within global markets where fuel economy has become a cost burden,” he added.
Citing an example, he said the 2019 International Motor Show in Frankfurt had shown a higher level of electric models compared to previous years - as fuel costs and carbon footprints have become a core issue in the region.
Madani said there was not much public traction on EVs in Asean, including Malaysia when the NAP 2014 was formulated.
“Therefore, there was a requirement to formulate EV policies in line with the remaining popularity of internal combustion engines. The NAP2014 focused on a broader array of technology on energy efficient products, which included electric vehicles,” he said.
In 2015, he said MARii had partnered with technology organisations in Australia on the development of an electric bus prototype to spur localisation of electric vehicle systems and components.
“So far, the project has reached its final stages of research and development, and is expected to be ready for the commercialisation process within the year.
“There have been several other privately-driven initiatives to develop electric commercial vehicles in selected test beds around Klang Valley,” he said.
He said MARii also led collaborations with various parties to allow the public to overcome their anxiety with battery range and cost restructuring of the electromobility lifestyle as part of the efforts to spur consumer awareness of EV use.
“These collaborations included encouraging electric car sharing programmes, improving public charging facilities and encouraging green vehicle parking spots within densely-populated parking areas,” he said.