UMW Toyota Motor has announced a new RM 270 million investment plan into its current manufacturing operations and facility at the Bukit Raja assembly plant, which, among other things, will include the introduction of locally-assembled (CKD) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV).

The new investment is in line with Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) global ‘mobility for all’ initiative, which emphasises on its commitment towards a ‘Clean, Safe and Secure Society’.

“Toyota’s global direction is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This is also in line with the Malaysian Government’s aspirations to position the country as a progressive nation that promotes more green technology and environmental sustainability,” said UMW Toyota Motor Deputy Chairman, Akio Takeyama.

“In order to achieve this, the most realistic, practical and immediate solution is Toyota Hybrid Electric technology and vehicles. The mass production and growing acceptance of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) will lead to the entire automotive eco-system evolving to embrace a more conscious and concerted effort in reducing Malaysia’s carbon footprint,” Takeyama added.

Globally, Toyota has invested heavily into its electrification plans, with an aim to achieve a sale of eight million electrified vehicles per year by 2030, with 70 different electrified models to be unveiled by 2025.

Check out Toyota’s next step forward in its electrification plans, the bZ4X EV Concept.

The new electrified models will follow along these three prongs: hydrogen fuel-cell electric (HFCEV), battery electric (BEV), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Among them, UMW Toyota believes that the hybrid electric vehicles will be the “most realistic, immediate, economical, and practical solution” for mass market production and sales in our region to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions.

“HEVs are a pivotal bridge to achieving full vehicle electrification. At present, the Battery Electric technology still requires time for full technology development, making the Hybrid Electric technology most appropriate for immediate implementation.

“We are ready [with the introduction of Hybrid Electric Vehicles], and the technology; service support; current infrastructure; global and domestic policies; the level of affordability and cost-effectiveness; and, consumer awareness and demand, particularly in Malaysia, are now at its most ideal conditions to pursue a new and exciting journey towards achieving carbon neutrality,” said
Takeyama.

While HEVs may seem a little old-school in a day and age when cars are plugged directly into the electrical grid, Toyota says that research has shown that the reduction in CO2 emission levels between fully electric and HEVs are almost similar considering electricity source, and from production and throughout ownership.

Toyota has already sold 15-million hybrid-electric vehicles globally, since the introduction of the first-gen Prius in 1997.

For Malaysian car buyers, the local manufacturing of Toyota HEVs would “translate into advancing into a new era of motoring, one that gives them access to the latest and most innovative technologies, at a price point that is practical and accessible to the greater masses,” UMW Toyota says.

“The introduction of HEV tech will quickly transform the automotive landscape in Malaysia for Malaysians. We hope that our endeavours to popularise tomorrow’s technology today through the mass introduction of HEV will receive due support from the government in the pursuit of a full scale realisation of vehicle electrification.

“We hope that the government will also consider UMWT’s efforts to be included in the National Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint alongside BEVs which is in line with the government’s plans,” said UMWT president Ravindran K.