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UMW Toyota: hybrids best fit for Malaysia due to dirty electricity, lack of chargers; Innova, Camry HEV soon?

UMW Toyota: hybrids best fit for Malaysia due to dirty electricity, lack of chargers; Innova, Camry HEV soon?

UMW Toyota: hybrids best fit for Malaysia due to dirty electricity, lack of chargers; Innova, Camry HEV soon?

UMW Toyota Malaysia recently presented its multi-pathway strategy to support the country’s mission of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, in which it reiterated its stance on the relevance of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in the country.

“For Malaysia, we believe HEVs are the most suitable for Malaysians, considering the fuel source of our electricity generation and availability of charging infrastructure outside city centres in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.” said UMWT president Datuk Ravindran Kurusamy.

There is merit to the above statement if we look at the statistics. According to the Energy Commission, Malaysia’s primary energy supply in 2020 came from coal and coke, natural gas as well as crude oil, all of which recorded five-figure kilotonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe).

These energy sources, which are not clean nor are they renewable, have been relied on for decades, with Tenaga National stating that coal was the predominant fuel for producing electricity in Peninsular Malaysia last year, making up 65.84% of the power being generated. The data also shows a progressive increase in the use of cleaner and renewable energy sources, although they still make up still make up a small percentage – gas at 29.67%, hydropower at 3.78% and solar power at 0.7%.

The government has already announced it will promote cleaner energy generation with the 12th Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 or RMK-12), promising it will no longer build new coal-fire powerplants. More recently, The Star reported that the government has agreed to lift the ban on renewable energy exports to enhance the country’s green economy policy.

This would encourage the expansion of local renewable energy companies, which can be benefit by trading excess renewable energy generated with neighbouring countries. Natural resources, environment and climate change minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also noted renewable energy will account for 70% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2050.

Meanwhile, the ministry of investment, trade and industry (MITI) said in February this year that Malaysia currently has 900 electric vehicle (EV) charging points, according to a report by Bernama. The ministry is aiming to increase the figure to 4,000 charging points by this year.

With primary energy supply coming from “dirty” sources and a limited number of EV charging points available today, UMWT believes Toyota HEVs are relevant as they are highly efficient, and the self-charging nature of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) isn’t dependent on public charging infrastructure. This allows for immediate carbon reduction with no compromise to long-distance driving practicality and peace of mind usage.

“We will add more HEV models in 2023,” Ravindran went on to say in UMWT’s official press release. While it wasn’t mentioned exactly what Toyota HEV models are coming our way, we do know that at least one will be introduced this year.

One probability is the all-new Innova Zenix that made its debut in Indonesia last November, which is available with a pure internal combustion engine as well as hybrid powertrain.

Already launched in Indonesia, the hybrid system in the Innova Zenix features a M20A-FXS 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder Dynamic Force engine that makes 152 PS at 6,000 rpm and 187 Nm of torque from 4,400 rpm to 5,200 rpm. The combustion engine is augmented by a 113 PS/205 Nm electric motor for a total system output of 186 PS, which is transmitted to the front wheels via a an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT).

Another possibility is the Camry Hybrid, with UMWT putting a white example at its Shah Alam office that hosted the exhibition on the company’s multi-pathway strategy towards carbon neutrality.

The car pictured here is the range-topping 2.5 HEV Premium Luxury variant that is part of the facelifted line-up launched in Thailand in November 2021. This uses an A25A-FXS 2.5 litre NA four-cylinder Dynamic Force engine pushing out 178 PS at 5,700 rpm and 221 Nm between 3,600 and 5,200 rpm.

The electric motor here is rated at 88 PS and 202 Nm for a total system output of 211 PS, with power coming from a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery under the rear seats. As with the Innova Zenix, an E-CVT is used to drive the front wheels.

UMWT has sold the Camry with a hybrid powertrain in the past when it launched the facelifted version of the XV50 Camry way back in 2015. The XV70 that came after was only offered with pure internal combustion engines, including the facelifted model in that arrived in 2022.

There are also reports that Toyota is developing a hybrid version of the fourth-generation Vios that we welcomed just two months ago. This model hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we know the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) was developed with hybrid tech in mind, and it would make sense to counter the current Honda City that is offered with a hybrid powertrain.

Currently, UMWT’s hybrid line-up only has one model, which is the Corolla Cross Hybrid launched last January. With the company set to offer more HEVs in the future, which one are you hoping will be launched in Malaysia?

The post UMW Toyota: hybrids best fit for Malaysia due to dirty electricity, lack of chargers; Innova, Camry HEV soon? appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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