A new electric vehicle production facility due to be built in Gurun, Kedah is set to place Malaysia in a prime position to become a regional hub for electric vehicles once it starts its operational duties in the middle of 2016.
The venture is the result of a joint effort by the Beijing Auto International Cooperation (BAIC) - the world’s second largest electric vehicle manufacturer and the biggest in China - and their local Malaysian partner company Amber Dual Sdn Bhd.
At a cost of between RM200 million to RM300 million, BAIC projects that the Gurun facility would be able to produce between 2,000 to 3,000 electric vehicles in 2016, a figure that will increase as time goes by and demand increases according to market maturity.
Shabudin Md Saman, Amber Dual’s managing director plans to have a prototype vehicle ready by December, with a full production version ready in July 2016.
"BAIC has appointed us as its representative that tap into the markets in Southeast Asian and the region. Government help is also needed as electric vehicle technology requires high financing, especially in installing vehicle battery-charging facilities,” he said.
In addition to aiding BAIC in achieving market success in this region, Amber Dual Sdn Bhd intends on learning fast and eventually contributing to future vehicle design as well as developing their own battery technology.
Li Ji, BAIC’s senior vice-president of sales, is bullish of the prospect of Malaysia becoming an important support structure in the company’s growth as well as its future as an electric vehicle hub for Southeast Asia.