'Address other facets of EV landscape as well'

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia takes another step forward in promoting electric cars after the recent announcement from Transport Minister Anthony Loke which saw an 85% reduction in road tax rates for EV cars, along with special licence plate frames to follow suit.

While the majority welcome the significantly reduced road tax, there are still other facets of the EV landscape that needs to be addressed.

Malaysian EV Owners Club (MyEVOC) president Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, said many members have been on tenterhooks pending the announcement for EV road tax post-exemptions, due to end in December 2025.

“The recent announcement by YB MOT (Loke) is most welcome and prospective owners are now ready to make the switch to EV, due to the 85% reduction from the current method of calculation,” he said.

“We predict the number of registered EVs (15,671 registered electric vehicles on the road as of 2023) to at least double in 2024 to around 30,000, especially given that there is no more uncertainty around how much road tax will cost in 2026.

"More new EV models are being introduced in Malaysia, giving consumers more choices. However, the growth may be tempered by uneven EV charging infrastructure coverage. We hope that the National EV Steering Committee will continue to monitor the infrastructure rollout closely to ensure both EV and infrastructure are growing in tandem,” he added.

Similarly, EV enthusiast Farhan Abdul Rahim believes there will be an increase in EV sales based on this latest announcement.

“I know more than a handful of my friends who were on the fence about buying an EV have now made the decision, ordering the new Tesla Model 3 performance,” he said.

“Despite the huge tax cut, there is a hurdle that needs to be overcome on top of the road tax structure which is the 100k price limit of CBU cars which was intended to protect the local brands. If this 100k limit is removed we will see even more models below 100k coming and hence will see higher percentages such as 5%,” he added.

On the other hand, EV owners are very excited about the new fee structure.

Richard Nah, 62, who plans to buy a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo next year, praised the initiative.

"For now, I’m using a petrol-based car and was planning to switch to an EV soon. With these new road tax reductions, I think many people will be open to changing to EV," he said.

Dennis Arulnathan, 40, an owner of a MINI Electric, expressed his excitement.

"This is great news. As an EV car owner, I can save a lot of money here," he said.

Dennis, who currently pays around RM700 in road taxes, will only have to pay about RM140 in 2026.

"The special plates for EV users will attract more people to owning one too," Dennis added.

"I switched to an EV a year ago because I like how it doesn't pollute the environment, and with the increasing price of petrol, it's a smart choice."
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