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Local carmakers need to step up to shift to EVs or risk losing market share to affordable foreign makes

Local carmakers need to step up to shift to EVs or risk losing market share to affordable foreign makes

29 Jul 2021

As many automakers are embracing electric vehicles (EVs) globally, local car manufacturers need to ramp up efforts to shift to EVs before foreign marques produce more affordable brands that could entice their customers away.

“For Proton and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), in terms of moving towards electric vehicles, I think it is going to be a transition where they will need to eventually move to that scene. 

“If not, they will be losing market share, that is where I see that, because we can see in other countries, there will be cheaper electric vehicles coming up, which are actually the price [range] Perodua and Proton [are offering] and [dominated the] mass market currently in Malaysia,” said EV Connection Sdn Bhd director Lee Yuen How said during a panel discussion session organised by Maybank Kim Eng, titled “The rise of the Asean EV”.  

Lee added that the government also will need to take responsibility by setting the tone with policies that support EVs and collaborate with industry players to build the infrastructure necessary for the development of such automobiles.

“I think all stakeholders should work together to actually build the infrastructure. They cannot be one player doing every work. Also, electric vehicles infrastructure should be also a shared responsibility among all the parties, whether it’s oil and gas companies, utility, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). That is what I think, in terms of the working of the transition of this electric vehicles infrastructure,” he added.

Yinson Holdings Bhd’s new ventures and technology group executive vice president Eirik Barclay also concurred that EVs are the future, as he envisions the adoption of such automobiles among developing nations will accelerate going forward in a bid to reduce dependency on oil consumption, especially in countries like Malaysia where the gas cost is heavily subsidised by the government.  

Noting that EVs offer huge business opportunities, Barclay said this is the reason why Yinson decided to move into this rapidly growing space.

“I think Yinson has for many years had visionary leaders who developed from a transport and logistics company into an oil and gas company. Now we’ve moved into renewables and also moving into what we’ve called green technologies, but particularly in the electrification space, because we see an opportunity and we see a market we believe in.

“For me, it’s really hard to see anyone not buying an electrical vehicle after 2025. It is like smartphones, why would you buy a not smartphone? It will be the same with electric vehicles, no one will buy anything else,” he added.

Source: The Edge Markets

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