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EV assembly plantTHIS week, the Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali (file pic) said that his state would soon see a massive RM1bil investment by a company looking to build the country’s first electric vehicle (EV) assembly plant.
The investment will be by local company Fieldman EV Sdn Bhd, which was set up in 2018 to hunt for renewable energy resources that can be brought into Malaysia, according to information on its website.
It says it has a current project in bringing the very first EV taxi into Malaysia.
The project is being planned to be constructed on 200ha at the Elkay Lipat Kajang Industrial Area in Jasin.
The Chief Minister also said Fieldman EV had obtained exclusive rights to distribute EVs in Malaysia and South-East Asia from China’s Changan Automobile Corp.
Changan is an established auto maker, one of the big four in China and has joint ventures with Mazda and Ford.
It isn’t clear yet if the manufacturing plant will assemble Changan EVs.
The EV plant is expected to create 5,000 job opportunities and a downstream industry for local players.
The news is clearly a positive one, what with EVs being all the rage these days.
However, the EV industry, while booming, is not an easy one to venture into.
Detractors say that EVs will not have an easy journey to penetrate into the Malaysian market.
One reason is cheap fuel still enjoyed by Malaysians.
Secondly, there will always be concerns by users about the “range anxiety” namely, the worry about how far one can use an EV before needing to charge it, and the availability of lack thereof, of charging stations.
While EVs do enjoy tax exemptions in Malaysia, there is still no subsidies to purchase them, like in some countries such as China, Japan and the west.
Finally, Malaysians constantly worry about the second-hand value of their cars and that could work against EVs.
That said, EVs have their attraction. It is often said that EVs are better in terms of energy efficiency, performance, convenience, maintenance, and lower tax, plus they are also greener with much lower emissions.
Clearly the project by Fieldman EV will one that will be closely watched.
Banking on changesIT’S the start of a new year and already the local banking fraternity has been seeing some human capital changes within the industry.
Are the industry movements a sign that banking activities like deal-making is on a recovery path?
No doubt, 2021 was an “unusually difficult year” for the investment banking (IB) industry, according to Asia Money.
Lagging behind pre-pandemic levels, IB activities in Malaysia were fairly muted last year, no thanks to the murky uncertain prospects brought about by the pandemic.
Bankers say most investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude last year, hoping to cut deals amid a more stable political and economic environment.