MAARA, UTM to develop RM10b ELV industry by 2025

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic source: Dr Adham’s Twitter

THE Malaysia Automotive Recyclers Association (MAARA) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) are given three years to develop the End-of-Life Vehicle Blueprint (ELV) industry which is expected to be worth RM10 billion. 

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (centre) said this memorandum of understanding (MoU) allows a study for an action plan for the remaking of ELV to be developed.

In January 2021, an ELV research consortium was set up at the academy level involving UTM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

“We are confident that within a few years, with guidelines and expert views, we can develop this plan to be forwarded to the Malaysian Automotive Robotic Internet of Things Institute.

“By 2025 it could be included in the 13th Malaysia Plan as well as a policy to adopt ELV,” he told the media after witnessing the signing of the MoU between MAARA and UTM today.

On the implementation of electric vehicles (EV) in the country, he said the issue is the insufficient charging infrastructure.

“To date there are a total of 9,000 registered EVs in Malaysia but only 700 charging stations nationwide. 

“The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) through Nano Malaysia Bhd started a battery development ecosystem for lithium-ion batteries. By 2025, we expect to have 10,000 charging ports nationwide,” he added.

On the EV initiative, Mosti had encouraged assembly and battery companies to provide job opportunities to the bottom 40% income group (B40).

“On top of that, the government has allowed two-year free road tax for the use of two-wheel EVs, to attract users among the B40 group as well as p-hailing riders,” Dr Adham said.

Through the MoU, UTM will collaborate with MAARA through the ELV Research Excellence Consortium to promote academic collaboration, research and technology development in the field of ELV.

In the development of sustainable technology, the university and industry players will solve ELV related issues through various components and materials that can be used in other products.

Dr Adham also hoped for the MoU to be a catalyst for the development of the industrial sector, especially in the field of innovation and technology which can ultimately help create an excellent economic ecosystem as well as improve the standard of science, technology and innovation education and research in Malaysia.

According to the Transport Ministry, there are approximately 33 million registered vehicles in Malaysia, which is almost equal to the number of the country’s population as there is still no policy that allows appropriate action to be taken with emphasis placed on the correct disposal method.

Meanwhile, research results obtained from this collaboration will also empower the manufacturing and recycling industry through action plan statistics, frameworks, guidelines and references in line with the National Automotive Policy 2020.

The study also consists of 11R (Return, Recover, Recycle, Remanufacture, Repurpose, Refurbish, Repair, Redistribute, Reuse, Reduce and Reject) elements. 

Experts involved in this consortium have visited several countries including Singapore and Japan where expertise in ELV recycling already exists.

Their visits were to obtain implementation information from the relevant national authorities in drawing up the ELV roadmap and to study a more appropriate approach for the implementation in Malaysia.

UTM vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail (third from left) said various studies are being conducted to develop automation and EV technology.

“However, have we ever thought when these vehicles have reached the end of their lives, where should they go and what is the action plan to deal with the piles of abandoned vehicles?

“Through this collaboration, we will identify vehicle components that can be produced, repaired or reused,” he said. 

Ahmad Fauzi added that almost 99% of vehicle components that qualify for disposal can be reused in various functions. 

Meanwhile, MAARA President Datuk Khan Mohd Akram Khan said the collaboration allows universities to plan an appropriate syllabus to produce university graduates in the ELV industry.