Prioritise public transportation over EV subsidies, Zafrul told

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Local News | 0 comments

PETALING JAYA: A transport consultant has urged investment, trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz to reconsider plans to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles, saying it is a regressive idea.“Subsidies should instead be directed towards public transport, as we should be moving towards ensuring fair access for everyone,” Rosli Khan told FMT.He said a key transport issue that needs to be resolved is traffic congestion.“In fact, (the EV subsidy) may exacerbate the problem by adding more cars on the road,” Rosli said.

He was commenting on Tengku Zafrul’s statement that the government is committed to ensuring that individuals across all income groups are able to own EVs through targeted subsidies and financial assistance.Rosli said the federal government should instead follow Sarawak’s lead by introducing an autonomous rapid transit (ART) system that uses hydrogen-fuelled trams.“Combining that vast potential in rail building opportunities with hydrogen-powered rail systems, buses and freight vehicles will form a new green energy development and growth strategy.“Such initiatives will position Malaysia at the forefront of green transport solutions, heralding a new age of green energy, sustainable development and environmental consciousness,” he said.In August, the ART commenced engineering test runs within Kuching Isthmus, a central business district located on an “island” connected to Kuching city via bridges.Carmelo Ferlito of the Center for Market Education believes the country’s EV industry may be economically unsustainable if the government interferes to create demand by offering subsidies.Ferlito said innovations that rely heavily on government support for market acceptance may not be economically sound.“When a product relies solely on government support to succeed, it creates an artificial demand bubble.“This demand is unsustainable without ongoing support, leading to job losses and economic crises when that support ends,” he said.However, Yeah Kim Leng of Sunway University said boosting the EV industry will align with the country’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 and National Energy Transition Roadmap for green growth, job creation and income improvement.“While the priority may be addressing the rising cost of living issues, it is crucial to consider the promotion of EVs from a long-term perspective of transitioning to clean energy,” he said.

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