Govt in talks with Proton to supply hybrid cars to its officials

Posted on October 18, 2010. Filed under: Climate Change |

-The Star-

MIRI: Government officials will soon be provided with hybrid electric cars in another effort to go green.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry is now in discussions with Proton Holdings Bhd to replace the current fleet of government vehicles with hybrid cars, said its minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin.

“If we really want to see the country go green, the Government must take the lead and show by example. We cannot keep telling the people and the private sector to go green if we do not do the same,” he told The Star yesterday, explaining the rationale behind the change.

A hybrid vehicle uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. It combines an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors.

Chin said vehicles using electric engines could save up to 40% of fuel and also drastically cut down on carbon emission.

He pointed out that the abolishment of import and excise duties for electric vehicles under Budget 2011 would see a big drop in prices.

“The present price of electric vehicles manufactured by Toyota is about RM175,000 in Malaysia because of the import and excise duties.

“Now, with the abolishment of these duties, we expect the price to go down by a big margin in Malaysia soon,” he said.

On Friday, during the tabling of Budget 2011, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government would continue to provide incentives in a move to ensure sustainable development.

This would include granting exemption to full import duty and 50% excise duty to franchise holders of hybrid cars and hybrid electric motorcycles up to Dec 31.

To spur ownership of hybrid cars, import duty and excise duty exemption will be extended until Dec 31 with excise duty given full exemption.

Chin said the talks with Proton was focused on how it could supply cars with electric engines for his ministry, the Prime Minister’s Department, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

The exercise would be extended later to other ministries and departments, he said.

However, he declined to set a target date as discussions with Proton were ongoing.

Chin said ordinary Malaysians would also be able to afford electric cars when more models were imported from other countries.

The Government, he said, could also possibly source for new models of hybrid electric cars from the United States.

At present, Honda and Toyota have models of hybrid cars in Malaysia.

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