The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) of Malaysia has presented a proposal for a one-time subsidy to boost for electric vehicle (EV) ownership in the country.

Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong said the proposal was presented to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) during the National EV Steering Committee (NEVSC) meeting, national news agency Bernama reported on Wednesday.

“It has been observed that this one-time subsidy can encourage people to switch from using internal combustion engine vehicles to EVs and further help the country reduce petrol subsidies for the long term.

“This suggestion is being fine-tuned by the Finance Ministry,” he was quoted as saying during the question and answer session in the parliament.

Liew was responding to a supplementary question from a member of parliament Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid who asked whether there would be incentives to attract the middle-40 (M40) group who can afford to own EVs.

The suggestion to boost EV ownership through one-off subsidy in Malaysia also comes as neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Thailand also introduce incentives and initiatives to boost EV ownership and attract foreign investments to develop local EV industry.

According to the report, the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint 2021-2030 announced by the Malaysian government in 2020 outlines a target to have 10,000 EV charging stations by 2025 whereby 9,000 units are AC (alternating current) chargers and 1,000 units are DC (direct current) chargers.

In 2023, the annual sales volume of new Battery EVs (BEVs) in Malaysia has increased by over 400 percent to 13,257 units compared to 3,127 units in 2022.

As of the end of last year, 2,020 charging stations have been installed in 750 locations across the country, of which 1,591 units are AC type, and the remaining 429 units are DC type.

Liew said the proposal to review the target of 10,000 EV charging stations was also raised in the Malaysian national EV steering committee (NEVSC) meeting and MITI together with related agencies, namely the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute and Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation are studying and fine-tuning the need to increase the DC charging stations target.

“The outcome of the study will be debated in the NEVSC Meeting which will be held in the second quarter of this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, in response to a question whether government has plans to consolidate EV charging system service fees in one application, Liew said the government has the intention to merge all applications for EV charging payments.

“But it requires the cooperation from charging point operators (CPOs) and the government is planning to hold discussions with the CPOs to create ‘interoperability’ with all companies,” he added.

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