But this requires the local vendor community to develop new skills and invest in advanced technologies, allowing them to make a quantum leap to become a global supplier.
Therefore, Radzaif said the much-delayed National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) must take a holistic view regarding EV and PHEV encompassing multiple areas.
He believes providing incentives for these type of vehicles under NAP2020 could help spur a growth in sales.
At the same time, it is vital that the increased sales are backed by long-term developments
“This includes prioritising the development and manufacturing of these vehicles, their critical components as well as the charging infrastructure to support EVs and PHEVs in the country,” Radzaif told the New Straits Times.
Malaysia’s latest blueprint for the automotive sector is due to be unveiled by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Friday.
First introduced in 2006, the NAP was aimed at facilitating the required transformation and integration of the local automotive industry with regional and global networks within the increasingly competitive environment.
Subsequently, the policy was reviewed in 2009 before another revision being made in 2014.
Radzaif pointed that one of the aims of the previous NAP2014 was for Malaysia to be a regional hub for energy efficient vehicles (EEV) in both sales and production.
At the time, the adoption of EV globally was low and the technology was still in its infancy.
“Today however, the momentum for EVs and PHEVs has grown steadily,” he remarked.
Last year, the global market for EV and PHEV vehicles grew to 2.2 million units or 2.5 per cent of the global vehicle market.
Radzaif said overall, car manufacturers had committed to spending about US$225 billion to develop EV and PHEV vehicles, pointing towards the segment expanding further in the near future.
“In this respect, Proton will continue with its commitment to work with the local vendor community to develop their capabilities. This is a task it has undertaken since its establishment and further intensified from 1996 and hopes to continue under the umbrella of NAP2020.
“To support this undertaking, the company has committed to launching models with increasing levels of technologically advanced features over the next few years,” he added.