Sri Lanka would be one of the last countries you'd expect to produce a full electric vehicle. But yet, here it is and to be honest, I feel like giving them a standing-jumping-award winning ovation for it. It has a whopping 804hp, 760Nm of torque and can do the 0-100km/h run in 3.1 seconds. If that's not impressive, surely the 300km range is.
Manufactured by Vega Innovations, the first full-electric vehicle to come out of South Asia is more than just about building a super electric vehicle and selling it.
If you read between the lines, it's about developing the technology for super electric vehicles more so than selling one. By doing this, they future proof the company because through this EV vehicle, they can be one of the leading suppliers of electric vehicle components and technology.
I mean, who is going to really compete against Porsche, Tesla and all the other big shot companies that are building electric vehicles? So it's smart to produce one but in the process, learn and have the goal to make components for it.
This is clever but more importantly, good for a country's flag and economy. Not only will it create more jobs if companies depend on them for components, but it will also help fly the country's flag high. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's research on National Economic Value of Electric Vehicles, " the growth of electric vehicles could lead to an average net employment gain of over 100,000 jobs per year through 2040". This year alone, we have seen some evidence of this. General Motors plans to invest in an all-electric vehicle plant where they will produce products. They said through it 2,200 jobs would be created.
Think Giga Nevada, Tesla's battery factory near Reno, United States. Although its main aim is to supply lithium-ion batteries for Tesla vehicles, we're sure that Elon Musk had the idea that if Tesla vehicles as a brand ever failed, they can at least be one of the significant suppliers of EV batteries. Always one step ahead that man is.
These are the kind of active thinking that movers and shakers do. It shows that they are thinking of the current market and predicting what the future will bring.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same of Malaysia. Instead of trying to walk before we can run, we have a wild idea of jumping the gun and forgetting the electric vehicle altogether and investing in a 'flying car project' which to me sounds entirely fictitious.
It's downright frustrating because I believe we have the minds and tools to produce a tremendous electric vehicle, but seem to lack the visionaries to lead a project of this magnitude.
We do not have to depend on Proton or Perodua to produce one either, because just like Jay Leno, I believe that its accessible for boutique brands to produce electric vehicles these days. This was in accordance to when Jay was testing out Drako Motor's new electric car, the Drako GTE.
Drako did not design many parts of the vehicle, but instead, they just picked the best pieces from certain manufacturers like Brembo and Fisker Automotive. Jay said that he believed that more and more boutique EV brands would pop up as they mostly had to figure out the approach and software and can buy the rest from the best manufacturer of parts since there are fewer parts in full EV cars, its easy to do this.
Malaysia has a lot of potential, and if we don't get on the EV bandwagon, we're inevitably going to miss out on an opportunity to better the economy, productivity and create high-paying and smart-thinking jobs through the EV world. The door is open for us; we just need the will to walk through it.
It has been said that tomorrow's National Automotive Policy (NAP) will reward and incentivise manufacturers and players who make a push towards EV (Electric Vehicle) and EEV (Energy Efficient Vehicles) automobiles, so let's see whether this can help open the door wider.