Within the next 18 months, Malaysia is set to become the first country in the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to produce lithium-ion batteries, according to the CEO of Malaysia Automotive Robots and IoT Institute (MARII).
Datuk Madani Sahari (pictured) told South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper that, at least in terms of size and energy retention, the batteries produced would be similar to those used in Tesla automobiles.
“We are looking at possible production sites in Negeri Sembilan or Sengalor, which will be finalised in the first half of this year”.
The (undisclosed) “locally listed company” that will build the factory “has been working with MARII for the pasty few years”. The company will complete its feasibility study of the battery prototype within three months, while evaluating its energy retention capability to suit the tropical climate.
“We want to establish Malaysia as the lithium-ion’s battery producer in the region”, commented Madani. “Globally there is insufficient lithium–ion batteries for automotive as the demand is rising.”
The automotive industry is viewed as a potential catalyst for developing the Malaysian workforce, according to Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dr Ong Kian Ming.
“The automotive industry intends to lead Malaysia’s drive towards emerging as a serious contender in the regional and global markets,” he said.
Malaysia has competition to become the first ASEAN country to establish Li-ion battery production, as BMW and Dräxlmaier have unveiled plans to invest over 400 million baht (US$12.2 million) in order to realise their ambitions of establishing “a new beacon for e-mobility innovations in Thailand and the region.”