The CEO explained that Perodua will start introducing a new locally produced hybrid model in 2024. The Perodua Ativa Hybrid – now only available for leasing to selected customers, has been ruled out.
“It will be a variant of a full model change (FMC, an industry terminology for a new generation model) model,” said Dato’ Sri Zainal. If we were to read between the lines, it should be a hybrid version of the all-new Perodua Bezza, which is due for a replacement by 2024.
Perodua expects to see a rapid growth in sales of hybrids, growing until the end of this decade, while demand for traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) models will start to drop.
Accelerating the demand for hybrids and demise of ICEs is the new fleet-wide corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) target that the Malaysian government will soon be announcing. Details and time frame are still to be decided but Perodua says it has been given a target of 4.2-litre/100 km.
CAFE targets differ from one company to another, and is calculated based on the weight and type of cars in the company’s sales mix ratio. For now, it will be limited to just passenger cars.
As for affordable EVs, Perodua says it will be another 10 years before battery technology and charging infrastructure mature to a point where EVs are acceptable for the masses – the segment where Perodua competes in.
At the same time, Perodua shared that the Malaysian government has asked local manufacturers to support the government’s goal of having electrified vehicles xEVs (including HEVs or hybrids) contributing 9 percent of total new car sales in Malaysia by 2025, growing to 15 percent by 2030.
The second national car maker is very aware of the challenges of transitioning into EVs, pointing out that 17 of Perodua’s current 135 suppliers may not survive the transition. Suppliers whose business are concentrated in casting, forging, and machining of engine-related parts will be most affected.
As a national carmaker, Perodua has the unenviable job of shouldering social responsibilities to grow the local vendor base. To this end, Perodua has begun pushing its vendors to move into the EV space. The introduction of the Perodua hybrid is a first step in introducing high voltage cabling, battery- and motor-related technology to local vendors.
“If, let’s say, we introduce an electric vehicle, we must make sure localisation will happen,” said Dato’ Sri Zainal. He added that one of the three main components of an EV – which are the high-voltage battery, inverter, and electric motor – has to be localised “because we are Perodua and we want to develop the local industry.”
Together with Daihatsu, Perodua is also matchmaking local vendors with foreign companies to establish joint development and strategic partnerships for EV-related projects.
The goal is to have local vendors reach a point where they are able to independently propose electrification solutions to Daihatsu and the wider Toyota group, which Perodua is part of.
Also, Daihatsu has no battery EV model available on sale. So for the first time in Perodua’s history, the company is starting on an equal footing with its Japanese technical partner.
In many ways, it can be said that Perodua must now take charge of its own future, because Daihatsu doesn’t know any better. As far establishing an EV-capable local vendor base and introducing low cost EVs suitable for Malaysians, Perodua is in a better position than Daihatsu to decide what is right.
The student must now become the teacher, the end of this decade could mark the coming of age and a new beginning for Perodua.