First quarter of 2015 will see Malaysia produce prototype lithium ion batteries for the local market.
In a bid to deal with the impending energy crisis and reducing pollution, Malaysia will be producing prototype lithium ion batteries by the first quarter of 2015. The high energy density batteries will be used in electric buses, cars and energy storage. For now, the product is undergoing research for the domestic market, post which it will be readied for exports.
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The project is a collaboration between the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), transport logistics firm ARCA Corp, Australia’s AutoCRC and Swinburne University of Technology. Currently, there are only a few large scale manufacturers of lithium ion batteries in the world.
The prototype, to be first used in electric buses in Putrajaya and Langkawi by second quarter of 2015, is being developed by ARCA Corp. The company has invested more than $63.45 million over four years, part of which may be provided by the Malaysian government if the company qualifies for financial support.
There are plans underway to upscale the manufacture of the batteries for local, but wider use, avoiding the heavy cost that would have been inflicted on the country if it had to import it. It is reported that there will be a separate plant set up for the production of the prototype lithium ion batteries. It is yet to be decided whether it will be a greenfield or a brownfield facility.
This initiative is a part of the National Automotive Policy (announced in January 2014) to reduce vehicle prices by 2018, as well as re-brand the region with energy-efficient transportation.