Announcement on Xmas toll waiver soon, extra 100 EV chargers along highways planned

KAJANG: The government, through the Finance Ministry and Works Ministry, is expected to announce the exemption of toll fees in conjunction with the Christmas celebration on Friday (Dec 22), says the Deputy Works Minister.

"I was told there might be an announcement on Friday. Let's wait,” Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said after visiting the Malaysian Highway Authority today.

Ahmad said that, on average, the government allocates RM21mil a day to the highway concessionaires through the implementation of free tolls.

This year, he said the government paid out RM80.07mil in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, RM42.31mil for Deepavali and RM41.21mil for the Chinese New Year to implement the toll-free initiative.

In another development, Ahmad said the government is targeting an additional 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging points on tolled highways, especially the North-South Expressway, by 2025 by taking into consideration the increasing number of electric vehicles.

Currently, 60 EV charging points on the PLUS Highway and East Coast Expressway are placed at rest and service (R&R) areas and petrol stations, among them the Ayer Keroh R&R (northbound), Seremban R&R (northbound) and Paka R&R (northbound), which are handled by charging point operators like TNB Electron and Gentari.

"The need for increased EV charging points is one of the new challenges in the future highway landscape, in addition to creating new concepts for R&Rs, smart highways and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad was given a nearly two-hour briefing on traffic management, including being taken to visit the traffic management centre, accompanied by the Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Sazali Harun.
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