Perodua is considering the possibilities of introducing a hybrid-electric model, and it will be a price-conscious undertaking as it aims to remain at the forefront of affordability.

“Our target, if we are to introduce a [hybrid model] in the future, is to bring the cheapest hybrid model that will be on sale in Malaysia without compromising on safety,” Perodua president and CEO Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad said in a briefing last week.

The company is still carrying out studies to find the best way of introducing an entry-level hybrid model if it is going to do so, its president and CEO added.

Electrification is already officially present within Perodua, though this has been through a leasing plan with the Ativa Hybrid that is by invitation, for study and evaluation purposes, rather than for outright sale and private ownership of hybrid vehicles.

The Ativa Hybrid is the most obvious candidate, given that it is the only electrified model in the Daihatsu line-up courtesy of the Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid.

However, the company’s president and CEO also revealed that its first hybrid will be a variant of a full model change, which means that it will be part of an all-new, next-generation model introduction. This, then, rules out the hybrid version of the Ativa, as its debut was in March 2021 and thus a full-model change will be much further down the line.

That also rules out the Alza, which got its FMC last july and the just-launched, second-gen Axia is firmly ICE-powered. Therefore, the next in line for a full-model change should be the Bezza sedan, which had its debut in 2016 and was facelifted in 2020. Or could it be the third-generation Myvi, which was facelifted in 2021?

An auto investor note issued by RHB Investment Bank near the beginning of this year stated that Perodua is set to unveil its first hybrid model in 2024, which reiterates what the Rawang-based national carmaker has said as early as 2019. This would mean a four- or five-year interval when viewed in the lifecycles of the Myvi and the Bezza.

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