Driving

BMW Has No Immediate Plans to Manufacture Electric Cars in Malaysia

Driving Two - BMW i3

The Government of Malaysia has been promoting the  use of eco-friendly cars in the country by exempting excise duties on hybrid vehicles assembled in Malaysia. However, there is little demand for such vehicles in Malaysia, said BMW Malaysia’s MD Gerhard Pils. At a recent press conference held in the capital, Pils stated that BMW Malaysia has no plans at present to manufacture electric cars in the country.

Lack of Demand and Infrastructure the Reasons

At present, the BMW has two cars in its ‘i’ series range – the i3, an electric car, and the i8, which is a hybrid version. The company’s MD made it clear that neither of these cars will be manufactured or assembled in Malaysia, partly due to lack of demand and partly due to insufficient infrastructure at their Malaysian plant. As mentioned and illustrated in our previous article and map, there are not that many electric car charging stations in Malaysia.

BMW Malaysia Urges Tax Exemption to All Hybrid Players

BMW Malaysia MD Pils also urged the government to extend the excise duty exemption to all companies selling electric, energy-efficient cars in the country and not just those that assemble or manufacture such cars in the country, so as to promote demand for such cars. Even though BMW relies on its own combustion engine for performance, the company could extend its expertise to build electric cars, said the company’s vice-president for South Africa and Asia Pacific Hendrik von Kuenheim.

He also added that the demand for hybrid vehicles has been increasing globally and that governments should play an important part in encouraging use of such vehicles in their nations.

Clarification Sought 

Pils also sought clarification from the government about the kind of tax advantages companies assembling eco-friendly vehicles in the country will get. The exemption for hybrid cars lasts until end of 2015 for hybrid cars and end of 2017 for electric cars.

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