Malaysians can look forward to electric vehicles (EVs) priced below RM100,000 when new models are unveiled in 2017.

Malaysian Automotive Institute chief executive officer Mohamad Madani Sahari said the EV prototype was being developed and expected to be completed in September 2015.

“The production and selling of the EV’s are projected in 2016 and 2017 respectively. There will be two sedan models with four seating capacity and can reach a maximum speed up to 300kph,” he said at the sidelines of the Sustainable Mobility Conference 2014 here today.

At present, the cheapest EV is priced about RM140,000 and has a top speed of 150kph.

Mohamad Madani said to ensure low prices, the government is looking to lease lithium batteries, the power source for the vehicle.

“Battery leasing would keep the cost of car maintenance low and a set of vehicle and battery configuration which would enable the battery to be swapped,” he said, adding that manufacturing the batteries locally was another step closer in making battery leasing a reality.

Mohamad Madani said the new EV models are expected to help achieve the nation’s target of 10% EV contribution to the total industry volume by 2020.

“There are also plans to bring in completely built-up (CBU) EV units next year before introducing completely knocked down units.

“The CBU units are of the high-end segment to familiarise buyers with the EV concept before the local EVs come on stream in 2017.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian Green Technology Corporation CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris said the EV industry in Malaysia would receive a boost with the introduction of electric buses in Malacca.

“Forty electric buses, costing RM50 million, would be introduced in Malacca and later in the Klang Valley before the buses are made available nationwide.”

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