10 Most Interesting Automotive Technology News of 2023

 The automotive world of 2023 is dominated by the launch of many electric vehicles in Malaysia as well as the announcement of various charging services from various parties including PETRONAS and TNB. Perhaps the biggest news is that Tesla has finally officially entered the Malaysian market. What other exciting automotive news this year? Here are the 10 most interesting automotive technology news of 2023.

1. Tesla Officially Enters the Malaysian Market

Tesla officially entered the Malaysian market in March this year with Model Y and Model 3 being the two models launched in Malaysia. With its entry into the local market, Tesla opened a service center in Cyberjaya in October and several Supercharger charging stations with the first being at Pavillion Bukit Bintang.

A total of 10 Supercharger station locations have been announced and so far four have been operational. The long-term plan is to open 50 Superchargers within three years. With the entry of Tesla into the Malaysian market, interest in electric vehicles is increasing. All this time Tesla was brought in by third parties and some were only rented to certain agencies.

2. Sime Darby Takes Over UMW – Holds Toyota And Perodua Brands

Sime Darby last August announced that they will take over 61.2% of UMW Holdings Berhad and establish them as one of the leading companies in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and engineering arena.

Under the announcement of this agreement, Sime Darby will buy PNB's 61.2% stake at a price of RM3.57 billion. In addition, Sime Darby also stated that it will make a public offer for 38.8% of the shares that it does not own, and at the same time remove UMW from Bursa Malaysia.

This takeover also strengthens Sime Darby's position in the automotive arena in Malaysia because they hold the Toyota, Perodua, BMW, Mini, Porsche, BYD, Volvo brands. Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar and Land Rover.

3. Lamborghini Has Already Sold Its Last Petrol Vehicle

Lamborghini's era of fossil fuel vehicles has come to an end after orders for the Hurucan and Urus were no longer taken. With the order slot closed Lamborghini is now starting the era of fully hybrid vehicles starting in 2024. This was revealed by their CEO Stephan Winkelmann in an interview with the Welt newspaper in Germany in June.

This action by Lambroghini is bold because since starting to produce the Lamborghini 350 GT racing car in 1964, they are known for high performance through powerful petrol engines. Like Lamborghini, Ferrari will also produce electric vehicles by 2025 but there are no plans to stop production of cars with petrol engines.

4. Toyota AE86 Initial D Electric And Hydrogen Version Is Now A Reality

Lamborghini has a great reputation in Europe through the iconic models Countach and Murciélago. For fans of Japanese animation, perhaps there is no car more iconic than the Toyota AE86 from the anime Initial D. At the Tokyo Auto Salon that took place last January, Toyota showed the electric and hydrogen version of the Toyota AE86 Initial D concept vehicle.

From the outside, this vehicle looks like an anime edition with the name Fujiwara Tofu Shop on the door. What differentiates it from the regular AE86 is the EV sticker on the side of the Sprinter Trueno electric version and the H2 sticker on the side of the hydrogen-powered AE86 Trueno version.

On the electric version the battery pack is placed in the rear boot with it being taken from the system used on the Toyota Tundra HEV and Prius PHEV. Two hydrogen tanks are placed on the rear boot of the hydrogen version borrowed from the Toyota Mirai. Both vehicles are just concepts and will not be offered to the public.

5. AFEELA Is Sony Honda Mobility's Electric Car Brand

After showing their EV Vision-S prototype in 2020, Sony Honda Mobility announced that the EV produced will be marketed under the AFEELA brand. The AFEELA prototype was shown on the CES floor last January.

AFEELA is targeting Level 3 self-driving capabilities when launched and Level 2+ within urban areas. The self-driving system will use the Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform that monitors 45 cameras and sensors throughout the vehicle's body.

There is no information about the motor power, battery size and the distance AFEELA will be able to travel later but it is confirmed that it supports four-wheel drive and aims to be marketed by 2026.

6. Debit Card And Credit Card Can For Toll Payment On 11 Highways

We are promised payment support using credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets at PLUS tolls since 2019. 2019 is over and there are only promises left like Yusry Abdul Halim. Just waiting. ended in September this year with an open payment system supported on 11 highways. With this move, people can make toll payments not only with Touch n Go cards, but also using debit cards, credit cards, and even prepaid cards with MyDebit, Visa or Mastercard logos.

The highways that have been announced will support this open payment system are.

Damansara – Puchong Highway (LDP)

West KL Traffic Reporting Scheme (SPRINT)

Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas)

SMART Tunnel

Kuala Lumpur – Putrajaya Expressway (MEX)

Sungai Besi Highway (BESRAYA)

New Coastal Highway (NPE)

Ampang – Kuala Lumpur Elevated Expressway (AKLEH)

Guthrie Corridor Expressway

Butterworth – Kulim Highway (BKE)

Duta Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE)

7. MARiiCas Electric Motorcycle Use Promotion Scheme Application Launched

Applications for the Electric Motorcycle Use Promotion Scheme (MARiiCas) are now officially open. Under this scheme, a rebate of RM2,400 is eligible for Malaysians to purchase an electric motorcycle if their income is below RM120,000 per year. Applications can be made through the MARiiCAS official website now.

Users who have registered for the purchase of an electric motorcycle will receive a QR code if their application is approved. Electric motorcycle brands involved in the MARiiCas scheme are Superlux, RydeEV, Legatus, Eclimo, Ebixon, Blueshark, Treeletrok and Modenas. With MARiiCas, the government wants to give incentives to buyers of electric motorcycles because so far only buyers of electric cars have been given exemptions even though their vehicles can be categorized as luxury.

8. Proton And Perodua Expected To Come With EV Cars By 2025

Tesla, Kia, BYD, Smart, Ora and Mercedes are among the companies that have offered their electric cars in Malaysia. The question among the public is when the local automotive companies will offer their EVs at more affordable prices?

The Deputy Minister of MITI (Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry) through an answer in Parliament shared, stating that the government has discussed with two national vehicle manufacturers to produce their own electric cars by 2025.

This latest partnership is in line with what Proton has shared - saying they want to be present with electric cars as early as 2025. Meanwhile, Proton through PRO-NET has been selling electric cars in Malaysia, starting with the Smart #1. Meanwhile, Proton is determined to offer one modern NEV car a year starting with the Proton X90 this year.

As for Perodua, they have previously shown an electric concept car. With the target it will be marketed in two years.

9. BMW Launches First Bulletproof And Explosion Proof Electric Car

The cars used by VIPs have additional features to ensure passengers are protected from any life-threatening attacks. In August lau BMW i7 Protection was launched with it being the first electric car with bulletproof and explosion proof capabilities. It is a regular BMW i7 that passes the VR9 standard issued by the Vereinigung der Prüfstellen für angriffshemmende Materialien und Konstruktionen (VPAM).

This electric vehicle can withstand 7.62×54 mmR anti-armor ammunition fired using M14 and FAL-FN rifles. In terms of bomb durability, it can operate even after being attacked using a grenade. A special armor layer is placed on the roof, doors and floor covering. The mirror glass used can also withstand the attack.

The 20" tires used are of the Michelin PAX type which can still be used even if they are completely flat at a speed of 80 km/h. The car is equipped with a 544 horsepower electric motor that allows it to travel at a speed of 160 km/h. The sale price has not been announced so far.

10. TomTom – Kuala Lumpur residents waste 159 hours a year in traffic jams

Do you want to convince employers to provide flexibility for work from home (WFH) more often? Just share TomTom's data on the time wasted by road users in KL within a year. According to data collected by TomTom, Kuala Lumpur is the 143rd most congested city throughout 2022.

On average, the time taken to travel 10km in Kuala Lumpur is 16 minutes 10 seconds. This is an increase of 1 minute 40 seconds compared to 2021 confirming the traffic situation in the capital is getting worse as it was rumored. On average, KL road users spend 159 hours a year in this traffic jam.

The city with the worst congestion is London with drivers spending nearly 37 minutes to travel 10km followed by Bengaluru, Dublin, Sapporo, and Milan. In the Southeast Asia region, Manila is the city with the worst congestion as it ranks 9th with 27 minutes needed to travel 10km.

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