Construction of electric vehicle plant to proceed as planned, says MIER

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research chairman Kamal Salih. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed RM5 billion electric vehicle smart manufacturing plant on 162ha at Enstek Industrial Park in Negeri Sembilan will go on, regardless of whether it is given national car status or not later.

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) chairman Kamal Salib said they had proposed to the prime minister to have a national electric car project.

“It is up to the government to put us under whichever category.

“Regardless of whether we get national car status or not, our plan to build the plant will go on as planned,” he said when contacted at the MIER office here today.

“Before the end of this year, most probably in September, we will be doing the ground-breaking ceremony in Negeri Sembilan,” he said.

Kamal was asked to comment on the anchor company status given to DreamEdge Sdn Bhd to build a national car.

It was announced that DreamEdge will be working with Daihatsu Motors in Japan on technology collaboration, as well as the models of the cars to be manufactured.

This national car will be privately funded and not financed by the government, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking had clarified earlier.

Early this month, at a press conference , announcing the electric car project , Kamal had said it would be by a local investor, partnering with Elenvi Otomotif Sdn Bhd, and MIER will be conducting the feasibility studies for both parties.

He reiterated again today that the automobile industry is an open market and anyone “with the money and technology can participate and compete”.

Kamal further asserted that prospects for the electrical car market were bright.

He expected all cars, within 10 to 20 years, to be replaced with electric cars and said the market is big, locally and internationally.