EV battery report: Malaysia may be dark horse in Southeast Asia's EV sphere

Annjil Chong, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0


The electric vehicle (EV) battery industry has just started in Malaysia. The country is blessed with mineral resources. Research from the Minerals and Geoscience Department revealed that Malaysia contains a total of RM 4.11 trillion (approximately US$982 billion) worth of unmined minerals in the 3 main categories. Metallic minerals such as nickel, manganese, copper, and aluminum, which are used in EV battery production included.

Breakdown of unmined minerals in Malaysia

The breakdown of unmined minerals in Malaysia

Meanwhile, China has banned the import of complex materials such as insulated copper wire and shredded motor scrap since 2019. The country has to rely on imports for the raw materials it needed to power its EV batteries, especially aluminum. A DIGITIMES Asia recent report, "2022 EV battery value-chain outlook in Asia," provides a comprehensive overview of the Malaysia EV battery industry. Below is the summary of the report.

According to The Star, China's aluminum volumes were up 24% in 2020 and have surpassed 1.43 million tons imported in 2009. The net imports of unwrought primary aluminum reached 1.57 million tons and those of unwrought alloy 1.00 million tons last year. This makes China the only historical precedent for the world's largest producer to need more aluminum in such high quantities.

These regulations, however, offer a huge opportunity for recycling companies in Malaysia. To date, Malaysia was China's largest exporter of aluminum alloy – its shipper 321,000 tons in 2021 alone, according to a report from Reuters.

Under Budget 2022, the Malaysian government initiated a new tax plan. More specifically, exempting EVs from all taxes, including import duty, excise duty, and road tax. Those who have purchased, rented, or have been paying to charge their EV will get income tax relief of up to RM2,500 (approximately US$597.23).

It's a pity that Budget 2022 does not contain anything to do with the EV manufacturing industry, whether it be EV batteries, electric vehicles, or even EV charging infrastructure.

Not only has the lack of clear, well-defined, realistic policies and plans from the Malaysian government made the emerging economy of 32 million people lag behind in EV development, but also behind its regional peers such as Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Still, DIGITIMES Asia believes that Malaysia has the potential to be the 'dark horse' in Southeast Asia's EV sphere. A recent report titled, "2022 EV battery value chain outlook in Asia" reveals the current situation of Malaysia's EV battery industry, from upstream to downstream players. To get the full content of this article, you may download the report via "2022 EV battery value-chain outlook in Asia."

Editor note: DIGITIMES Asia just released a series of industry reports, focusing on the "2022 EV battery value-chain outlook in Asia." The reports are divided into 3 parts – Overview of East and Northeast Asia EV battery supply chains, Southeast Asia, India EV battery and material supply chains, and EV battery tech trends and promising startups. These member-exclusive reports are now available for EV Weekly Subscribers.