Perodua’s first EV is just around the corner. And it might be called the ‘em-o.’ By the end of 2025, the firm’s first electric vehicle, which has been developed as a “affordable” undercutting RM100,000, will go into mass production. The announcement was made on ‘X’ by YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Bin Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry.
The minister explained that the local carmaker has already developed a prototype in collaboration with an “overseas car company,” following the appointment of Perodua to lead the development of EVs in Malaysia under the National Industry Master Plan 2030 (NIMP2030) sometime in 2023. However, as to exactly who the “overseas car company” might be remained a mystery.
At a meeting between Perodua executives and MITI representatives, it was revealed that the undisclosed company boasts a level of leadership in the North American market, enjoying a position as the fourth largest in the world market, and its 344 manufacturing facilities. A quick search online reveals that leading global automotive supplier Magna International—who makes powertrains and body structures etc—has 344 facilities, so it would appear as though that mystery is solved. Teaming up with Magna would be a significant move for Perodua.
In contrast, Daihatsu was also mentioned as a possible partner, but given the recalls and safety issues the company is involved in right now, we doubt the Japanese small car maker will join the party.
One source tells us that the company has been working on an “affordable” Perodua EV for a number of years and that it should start production in 2025. At the Malaysian Auto Show last year, it unveiled the eM-O, its first scale model concept car. Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, the president and CEO of Perodua, has previously stated that the company is collaborating with a number of partners to produce EVs locally “in the near future.”
The Perodua EV will no doubt generate a great deal of interest in the Malaysian market when it finally lands in showrooms. The company’s CEO also stated that the government’s goal of having 20% of new car sales in Malaysia be electric by 2030 “will materialize if all the parties cooperate,” as stated by Tengku Zafrul in November of last year.