Transport minister Anthony Loke said a comprehensive study will be conducted for the electric vehicle (EV) road tax structure.

“There will be a study on how to impose road tax against EVs. There should be a comprehensive study on the structure fees so it is aligned with our policies. In our efforts to encourage the use of EVs, there should be incentives from various aspects such as competitive road tax fees, and facilities such as charging stations,” he said yesterday, reported by NST.

Is that a hint at lower road tax for EVs? Because the current structure is not just uncompetitive compared to regular internal combustion engine cars, it’s much higher. While EVs are currently enjoying road tax exemption, valid till the end of 2025, we’ve discovered that road tax from 2026 onwards is pretty steep.

Road tax for EVs in Malaysia – click to enlarge

While ICE vehicles have their road tax calculated based on engine capacity, EVs follow a kilowatt-based system. The final road tax amount for an EV is calculated based on the total power rating of the electric motor(s), with different power brackets determining the base rate and accompanying progressive rate (if applicable). There are categories for saloons and SUVs or jip, as JPJ classifies them. The latter is lower.

Perhaps the best EV vs ICE road tax example is the Volvo XC40, which is available as a full EV (Recharge Pure Electric), priced at RM278,888. Its 300 kW output attracts road tax of RM4,503 per year. An XC40 with a 1.5L plug-in hybrid powertrain is priced at RM268,888, but the road tax is just RM90. The owner of the 2.0L mild hybrid variant pays RM380.

A more affordable EV is the BYD Atto 3, which will have a road tax of RM903 per year. A similarly-sized Honda HR-V in e:HEV RS hybrid guise with a 1.5L engine pays 10 times less road tax at RM90. Click here for a detailed dive into Malaysia’s current road tax structure and to see the road tax of all EVs currently on sale here.

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