The ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) says a policy specifically for electric vehicles (EV) is currently under development. According to deputy trade minister Liew Chin Tong, the policy – which is aimed at accelerating the country’s electrification agenda – was being drafted by a special taskforce on EVs.

He said the special EV taskforce, which was approved by the cabinet on February 17, will review manufacturers, importers and brands, so that opportunities can be given to local companies, as the New Straits Times reports.

“The taskforce will also review the secondary aspect involving charging stations other than electronic and electrical (E&E) networks with EV manufacturers,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat during the question and answer time earlier today.

“So, the government needs a little more time to outline the future of EV,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PN-Kuala Krai) on the government’s efforts to expand the EV industry in Malaysia.

Liew added that local EV production might even happen in the next two years, given the rapid development of the industry on a global scale. “From their pricing and manufacturing, it shows there are rapid changes that involve competition and a switch from conventional engines to EV. Following the progressive changes in the industry, there might be new opportunities in a year or two,” he said.

Talk of a dedicated EV policy has been around for a while now. In 2021, a specific policy for the segment was reportedly on the cards, but nothing came of it. While the government’s move to exempt EVs from import, excise and road tax, announced during the tabling of Budget 2022, has improved the take-up of EVs in the country, a clear policy is needed to outline proper direction.

A comprehensive EV policy should also include a timeline for the government to phase out internal combustion engines, as many countries have already pledged.

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