Malaysia eyes 'good slice' of projected US$2.7bil Asean EV market

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is determined to capture a "good slice” of the Asean electric vehicle (EV) market, which is estimated to reach US$2.7 billion (RM12.6bil) by 2027 from US$500 million in 2021, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said.

He said Malaysia has a competitive edge to attract more high-value investments, having developed a comprehensive ecosystem for the EV and Next Generation Vehicles (NxGV) industries.

"In getting the fundamentals right on our NxGV ecosystem, we are diligently building the necessary infrastructure to achieve our target of having EVs and hybrids account for 20 per cent of new car sales by 2030; 50 per cent by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050," he said at the launch of E-Mobility Asia 2023.

Tengku Zafrul said the government has a strong policy push and over the past 50 years, Malaysia has developed a strong electrical and electronics (E&E) industry, mainly in semiconductors that have firmly entrenched itself in the global supply chain.

Semiconductors allow EVs to become smarter and safer, paving the way for a greener future.

He said Malaysia accounts for seven per cent of global semiconductor trade and 13 per cent of global chip testing and packaging.

Therefore, he said Miti and its agency the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) are strongly pushing for more semiconductor investments.

Between 2018 and June 2023, Mida approved 59 projects worth RM26.2 billion in the EV and related ecosystems for vehicle assembly, manufacturing parts and charging components.

"Malaysia has become a highly attractive destination in the region for all EV investors because of these established existing ecosystem advantages that are highly conducive for the development of EVs and its related components.

"These are compelling factors for big names such as Tesla to announce their entry into the country, joining global automakers like Geely, Chery and BYD from China, Hyundai from South Korea, as well as Mercedes Benz and BMW from Europe, that are already in the Malaysian market," he said.

He said Malaysia still has a long way to go to ensure a robust EV ecosystem, such as in developing a greener grid and related power distribution networks.

"Most importantly, the wide range of new mobility solutions can open up technology transfer and innovation for our SMEs, as well as higher-paying jobs for Malaysians," he noted.

He said Miti is constantly reviewing policies to ensure Malaysia's EV ecosystem is holistic and fully supported to attract high-level investments.

"We look forward to welcoming more multinational EV, NxGV and renewable energy (RE) investors to Malaysia to become our growth partners in developing a strong Malaysian EV supply chain to meet the needs of the regional and global market.

"Towards that end, we also hope to collaborate with our neighbours in Asean - whether they are from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines or Indonesia - to complement each other’s strengths so we can capitalise on supply chains that have shifted directly on our (Asean) doorstep," he said.
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