The plan was first outlined by Perodua in August and it is now activated.
Basically, Perodua's first hybrid car is being trialled in a move seen as Perodua asking customers what they want in an affordable electrified car and also to find out how well accepted a subscription service is.
Hence, the Ativa Hybrid is not for sale to the public.
A total of 300 units based on the Daihatsu Rocky Hybrid will be offered to approved applicants. They included current Ativa customers who are still waiting for their cars to be delivered and those who had registered their interest to take part in the study project.
The project is divided into two parts.
The first is to understand group driving behaviour of a hybrid vehicle in populated locations of the country, namely in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Baru (40% of the subscribers are in the Klang Valley).
The other purpose of this study is to understand consumer acceptance of a 5-year “subscription” service, which Perodua has been offering to corporate clients under its “EZ MOBi” arm since January 2021.
“The Perodua Ativa Hybrid would be the best vehicle for us to gain unique insights on Malaysian behaviour as a controlled group, as this data will be used to anticipate our customers’ needs when using an electric vehicle,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
Selected customers need only pay an upfront fee of RM2,150 and a monthly fee of RM500, which covers the insurance, road tax and maintenance to be borne by Perodua.
The subscription period is five years and customers have to agree to be tracked with a GPS locator to be installed in the vehicle for Perodua to study driving and usage patterns.
The drivers also have to file regular reports on their driving experience and any technical issues they face.
Present to receive their keys to the hybrid were the first five individuals who have been approved to take part in the project. They are Haliza Alias, Sarina Mat Desa, Tan Chiew Woo, Abdul Rahman Mohmad and Farizul Abd Hamid.
Zainal said the remaining 295 subscribers who have been selected from a pool of 600 applicants will be receiving their cars in the coming weeks.
The Perodua Ativa Hybrid uses a “series hybrid” system whereby the electric motor sets the vehicles’ wheels in motion while the engine serves as a generator to charge the electric motor.
The electric motor churns out 105hp and 170Nm of torque, while the 1.2-litre engine (WA-VEX) makes 81hp and 105Nm.
Based on this technology, the Ativa Hybrid’s Series System is capable of reaching distances of 31.3 kilometres per litre (based on Malaysian Driving Cycle test).
“While we believe that vehicle ownership will still be our bread and butter; there is a possibility that a vehicle subscription business model may be acceptable for more users in the near future," said Zainal Abidin.
“This is what we mean by ‘subscription’ – a service where all other obligations of owning a vehicle – such as following a service schedule, paying vehicle insurance and paying road tax – will be managed entirely by us; all the customer has to do is pay a subscription fee to enjoy the package."
The Perodua event was attended by Ministry of International Trade and Industry secretary-general Datuk Seri Lokman Hakim Ali, Perodua chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, Daihatsu chairman Sunao Matsubayashi and Perodua Auto Corporation Sdn Bhd president Masanori Takahashi.