Fitch Solutions, a Fitch Group unit, said Thursday that it expects passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales in Malaysia to expand rapidly in 2023, albeit from a low base due to the introduction of incentives to boost adoption.

The research house said in a note that it forecasts passenger EV sales in Malaysia to increase by 45.6 percent in 2023 to reach an annual sales volume of around 4,449 units.

It also expects plug- in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to lose market share in 2023 as the introduction of more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) offer consumers additional models to choose from.

“We forecast that total EV sales as a percentage of total sales to breach the 1 percent mark by 2024 as an expected strong performance in both PHEVs and BEVs accelerates EV adoption,” it said.

According to Fitch Solutions, Malaysia has unveiled measures to promote and stimulate electric vehicle EV adoption through incentives.

For instance, a road tax exemption for EVs has now been implemented along with a subsidy of MYR2,500 ($600) for EV charging infrastructure purchases by consumers.

Furthermore, a 100 percent reduction in import duties on completely built-up EVs lasting up to December 31 2023 has been introduced.

Besides, completely knocked down (CKD) EVs will be eligible for the suspension of duties until December 31, 2025 along with sales tax and excise duty exemptions which will further improve the affordability for consumers due to the inherently high taxes on importing vehicles in the country.

it said Malaysia is well positioned to increase the assembly of battery packs as existing players in the country take advantage of potentially higher demand for batteries due to automakers ramping up their EV offerings.

For example, Ni Hsin EV Tech Sdn Bhd officially unveiled its two TAILG electric motorcycle models in the personal Tailg Ebixon Bold and commercial Tailg Ebixon Torq categories on November 22, 2022, both of which are locally assembled at its facilities in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

Meanwhile, the BYD Atto 3 and e6 EVs will go on sale in December 2022, with deliveries beginning in the first quarter of 2023. The two EVs are expected to cost between MYR150,000 ($33,500) and MYR170,000 ($38,000).

Following the opening of order books and more than 100 bookings on the opening weekend, the Great Wall Motors (GWM) Ora Good Cat electric hatchback has also officially launched in Malaysia.

The Ora Good Cat is available in Malaysia in two trim levels: 400 Pro and 500 Ultra, with prices starting at MYR139,800 ($31,440) for the 400 Pro and MYR169,800 ($38,200) for the 500 Ultra.

It is also noted that Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) wants EVs to account for 75 percent of total sales by 2025. The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is the first EV to join VCM’s local lineup, with the company promising to launch a new EV in Malaysia annually for the next five years.

VCM will continue to prioritize local production, and the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is billed as Malaysia’s first locally produced EV model.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has also ordered 60 electric buses from SKSBus Group, which will be delivered in stages beginning in 2022.

MAN Truck & Bus (M) Sdn Bhd (MAN Malaysia) and Gemilang International Ltd (GML), a Hong Kong-listed bus and bus body manufacturer based in Malaysia, also showcased the MAN eBus chassis.

Beginning in 2023, MAN Malaysia will offer zero-emission, all-electric bus chassis as well as conventional bus chassis powered by low-emission Euro V engines as the company continues to drive change in Malaysia’s public transportation sector toward sustainable mobility.

Swift Haulage Bhd and Volvo Malaysia also in August signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) to introduce electric trucks to Malaysia.

Petronas Dagangan Berhad (PDB) has also signed three MoUs with Gentari Green Mobility (Gentari), EP Blueshark, Blueshark Holding, and Handal Indah for the deployment of battery swap stations for two-wheeled electric vehicles and the establishment of charging infrastructure for electric buses.

Tenaga Nasional (TNB), on the other hand, has partnered with Gamuda Land to construct two electric vehicle charging stations at Gamuda Land’s Selangor property development projects.

Both companies have signed an MoU to collaborate on the development of EV stations, or charging hubs, to be branded as Electron.

Gentari also officially unveiled their EV charging station, which includes a 350kW supercharger, two DC fast chargers, and five AC chargers, in collaboration with EV Connection Sdn Bhd (EVC).

The EV charging station is the first one in Malaysia to receive a license from the Energy Commission, and it is situated at X Park Sunway Serene in the Sungai Way Free Trade Industrial Zone in Selangor (EC).

Installation of 10,000 EV charging points in Malaysia on track, 700 ready, according to ministry