Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today officially unveiled the new National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), which will act as the guiding principles in Malaysia’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
For the automotive sector, the NETR is now aiming for an 80% market share for xEVs (all new-energy/electrified vehicles) by 2050, significantly ramping up the targets outlined in the existing low carbon mobility blueprint (LCMB) and national energy policy (NEP). Previously, these were set at 15% by 2030, and 38% by 2040.
Aside from just xEV penetration rates, the NETR also aims to establish a robust xEV manufacturing sector in Malaysia, with 90% of production done locally. This will be achieved via investment incentives through the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI).
As part of the initiatives, stringent emissions standards will also be put in place to limit non-EEV (energy efficient vehicle) manufacturing for ICE vehicles.
MITI will also be working on reducing regulation roadblocks for EV adoption, particularly in areas such as the setting up of charging infrastructure including addressing right-to-charge regulations, charge point operator licence approvals, and a review of uniform building by-laws.
Interestingly, this is in contrast with the PLANMalaysia’s recent draft of its EV charging facility guidelines, which notably restricted underground EV fast chargers, as well as individual EV chargers for strata owners in apartment parking lots.
The NETR also mentions that the government will continue co-funding public EV charging infrastructures. As for ICE vehicles, the Ministry of Transport will be working on establishing a new methodology to measure fuel economy for vehicles, alongside new fiscal policy measures based on fuel economy, possibly including a reworked road tax system.
Plans for development of alternative fuels are also outlined in the NETR. These include “flagship catalyst projects” such as the first mobile hydrogen refuelling station for transportation in Peninsular Malaysia, as well as a new bio-refinery by Petronas in Pengerang, Johor, as a catalyst to produce a range of sustainable fuels.
Unlike many neighbouring countries, however, the Malaysian government has yet to announce a ban on internal combustion-powered vehicles. Thailand will be implementing a ban on ICE vehicles starting 2035, while Singapore is aiming to phase out ICE from 2040. Indonesia, meanwhile, has set a deadline of 2050.