Electric vehicles, new tech focus of NAP 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2019 will be unveiled in the first quarter of next year, and will place emphasis on electric vehicles and new technologies, according to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming.

“The main focus then (NAP 2014) was on energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) and now we are moving much more towards electric vehicles and new technologies,” he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference 2018 today.

“But we have to discuss with the relevant stakeholders first and make sure that we fine-tune the details, so that the needs of the whole industry are taken care of,” he added.

Ong said his ministry together with some key companies in the automotive sector, are currently reviewing the policy, which was first introduced in 2006 to transform the domestic automotive industry.

Furthermore, he said the revised policy, which will also include the development of the third national car project, will overlook the entire automotive ecosystem, encompassing four key pillars of connected mobility, Industrial Revolution 4.0, new generation vehicles and artificial intelligence.

“When we talk about the third national car, we need to look at it at a holistic perspective. So let’s not just focus on the third national car project, which is an important component of the NAP review, but also look at the entire ecosystem. This ecosystem needs to be further enhanced and developed to take into consideration of new trends, such as the newly launched Industry 4.0.

“With the new technologies coming in, including the possibility of self-driving cars, more rapid advancement in electric vehicles and necessary ecosystems such as batteries and charging stations, it is timely to review this particular sector,” he noted.

To date, Ong said, the ministry has received over 20 proposals on the third national car project, from various sub-sectors, comprising small to large companies in the automotive sector, which include some “big players”.

He noted that the ministry has developed a matrix to analyse and evaluate these proposals, in order to make a fair, transparent and comprehensive choice.

“One of the deciding factors would be the financial sustainability of the project as the government will not be funding this third national car project as noted in Budget 2019,” Ong added.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad told a press conference in conjunction with the event that the association is hopeful that the government would continue to focus on the components emphasised in NAP 2014, including the EEV initiative.

“Future technology is good, but we would also like them to continue to emphasis on EEV that has helped the industry. We would also like to see long-term policies rather than short-term (policies) and more consultations with the industry,” she added.

Themed “Beyond Mobility: Moving Sustainably”, the two-day conference, which is organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and MAA, aims to bring together industry experts and leading players to share views concerning the automotive industry and ecosystem roadmap beyond 2025.

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