It looks like fully electric vehicles will still be out of the reach of many Malaysians in the foreseeable future.
Geely Auto Group, one of the biggest shareholders in Proton Holdings, today launched Geometry, Geely’s pure electric vehicle brand. Together with the launch, Geely also introduced the Geometry A, the brand’s first pure electric vehicle. Being one of the biggest
After all, the Proton X70 – which is a rebadged Geely Boyue – is currently the best-selling SUV in Malaysia thanks to its affordable pricing, premium build quality and comprehensive equipment list. So a fully electric Proton that’s based on the Geometry A could very well become a segment best-seller for our national car brand.
But don’t get too excited about the thought of a fully electric car being commercially available in Malaysia soon.
While Geely may have the technology and Proton may benefit greatly from a fully electric vehicle program, Malaysia still lacks the incentive and infrastructure to support fully electric vehicles.
At the launch of Geometry in Singapore, I had the opportunity to ask Victor Yang, Vice President of Public Relations of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group if the company is considering introducing its fully electric cars in Malaysia. He feels that before Geely can make electric cars available in the country, the country needs to be ready to accept electric cars, specifically in terms of infrastructure for the cars and incentives for the manufacture, supplier and buyers.
“We have not decided whether to bring Geometry to Malaysia or not because to promote the commercial use of pure electric cars, you need always in the starting period some help from the country”, Victor told me.
“It [electric cars] should be subsidised one way or another. Either you subsidise the facilities builder or you subsidise the battery or the supply chain, or you subsidise the OEM, or you subsidise the buyer
“I do not see that the Malaysian government has reached a consensus on this, to promote pure electric cars in a massive way.
“You have to see that pure electric cars need support from the facilities as well. You need to
It’s not that Malaysians are not interested in fully electric vehicles, rather the Government is not clear on where it wants to go with regards to new energy transportation like electric vehicles.
“I know that the interest level is growing back in Malaysia. We have not made a decision. We will let our colleague in Malaysia evaluate whether we should have Geometry electric cars in Malaysia”, Victor said.
Geely hybrid tech may be coming to Proton
As it stands, it is still unclear what the Government’s stance is for hybrid and electric vehicles but there’s a silver lining as Victor said that Geely’s hybrid technology will make it to Proton cars.
“I think the hybrid versions should go to Malaysia so that you can enjoy more efficient and green way of life”, he said.
While there’s no exact timeline for when this will happen and what specific Proton models will have the hybrid option, this at least gives hope for more affordable hybrid vehicles in Malaysia.