The federal government should lead in the migration of fuel-guzzling vehicles to hybrid and electric vehicles in its fleet and provide subsidies for buyers in reducing carbon emission.
Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (Dapsy) Sarawak chief Peter Hee said there is no doubt that electric vehicles (hybrid) is the trend, replacing traditional fossil-fuel driven vehicles on the roads, and this is already shaping up in major economic super powers.
“If the government really intends to encourage the use of such vehicles, they should also provide massive subsidies to the first-time buyers to encourage people to buy energy-saving vehicles,” he said.
It must also take the lead by replacing official cars with hybrid vehicles, and changing public transport to hybrid buses within a set time-frame, he added.
Hee said electric vehicles are very widespread and popular in China and has even exceeded 50 per cent of private car ownership, and also prevalent in public bus transportation sector.
To encourage the use of energy-saving vehicles in our country, he said the government must adopt a specific industrial policy to enable local industrial setup, including hardware and assembly, which has to be managed locally to reduce costs.
“Setting up infrastructure in sufficient re-charging stations at refuelling stations, parking lots in shopping malls, bus stations and other public place is required to make it convenient for users.
“When the critical mass level has been attained, the government can proceed to gradually reduce petrol subsidy in the country, and Malaysia is expected to take five to 10 years to achieve such migration to environmental-friendly vehicles on her roads.”
Hee said China is already a global leader in the hybrid vehicle industry and has become a reference for other countries which Malaysia can learn from.
“Electric vehicles can also effectively reduce urban pollution, improve air quality, and if production reaches the level of demand, it can drive industrial development.”
The Borneo Post