UK open to working with Malaysia on new national car

The United Kingdom says it is open to working with Malaysia to help the country realise its carbon emission reduction goal, and a possible avenue would be with the new national car project (NNCP), Bernama reports.

According to the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Peter Estlin, the UK’s expertise in electric vehicles (EV) manufacturing would be able to help Malaysia fulfil the pledge of lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 45% by the year 2030.

“It is an area of possibility (to collaborate with Khazanah) as Malaysia’s focus is on low carbon economy. But we need to understand which part of it we (want to) focus on. If automotive is one of them, and if EV is one of the elements, then there is an opportunity there,” he told the national news agency during his official visit here last week. He added that industry players from the UK and Malaysia could look into collaboration in areas such as battery development or other aspects of EV manufacturing.

In April, entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Mohd Yusof had stated that the NNCP would be an extended-range vehicle. As opposed to full battery electric vehicles, a range extender vehicle is an EV with an auxiliary internal combustion engine, which powers an electric generator to recharge the batteries.

The government has yet to announce the strategic partner for the project, which has gone quiet in recent months. Two automakers were apparently shortlisted in March, and this progressed into the final phase of decision-making in April, but nothing has been heard about it since then. The NNCP, which the government says will be a private sector-driven project, is slated for a 2020 roll out.

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