CFM in joint venture to drive EV and RE


PETALING JAYA: Computer Forms (M) Bhd (CFM) and Thailand’s Energy Absolute Pcl will form a joint-venture (JV) company to offer greener mobility solutions that are earmarked to drive Malaysia’s electric vehicle (EV) and renewable energy (RE) sectors.

CFM group managing director Datuk Justin Lim Hwa Tat said the JV will promote, produce and distribute RE products in Malaysia based on Energy Absolute’s core capabilities and know-how.

The JV company, expected to be set up in October, will maximise opportunities in production and distribution of EV-buses, EV-cars, EV-trains, EV-bikes and EV-boats – areas where Energy Absolute has strong resources and proven capabilities in Thailand.

According to Deputy Minister of National Unity Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal, the joint partnership is a positive initiative by the private sector to capture new business opportunities announced at the 5th International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) in August.

“With Malaysia’s quest to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need foreign expertise in such collaborations to accelerate greening our vehicle and energy industries with innovative solutions,” he said at the head of agreement signing ceremony between the two parties in Kuala Lumpur yesterday..

Lim shared that, as for now, both the companies will have equal shares in the JV companies. He, however, hinted that there might be potential investors taking up a small portion of the shares.

Lim said the JV will invest an estimated RM5bil in stages into the collaboration and other ventures, including developing energy storage and charging platforms as well as producing lithium-ion batteries to support the EV ecosystem in Malaysia.

“We view this partnership as a strategic growth opportunity for CFM to venture into the commercial EVs and sustainable energy business, which is a niche industry segment in Malaysia,” Lim said.

Energy Absolute chief executive officer Somphote Ahunai said the company was the first company in Thailand to successfully established the fully integrated electric vehicle eco-system.

This year, the company has started to implement a green transport initiative, connecting its EV-bus though EV-ferry using the ultrafast charging technology in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We do believe that with this collaboration, we could successfully implement the same platform in Malaysia,” Somphote said.

Hong Kong exchange listed, Gemilang International Ltd’s wholly owned subsidiary Gemilang Coachwork Sdn Bhd, inked a letter of intent with CFM to purchase 200 units of EV-buses, valued at RM1mil a unit, from the new JV.

“For the first phase, we will be starting the electric bus business here in Malaysia, by bringing in complete built up (CBU) electric buses from Thailand,” Lim said, adding the group will be eligible for tax incentives that include full exemptions on import and excise duty until the end of next year, owing to government’s initiative to drive the EV sector.

Lim expects the first batch of electric buses from Mine Mobility, an EV brand under Energy Absolute, to be used for public transport in the first half of next year.

“We also have plans to convert Malaysian school buses completely to EVs. We are targeting 30,000 school buses to be EVs in the span of 10 years.”

“For the second phase, we will be looking at building lithium-ion batteries factories in Malaysia, echoing what Energy Absolute has already done in Thailand,” Lim added.

in Thailand, Energy Absolute is engaged in the business of manufacturing and distributing crude palm oil, biodiesel products and glycerol, electric batteries as well as operating renewable power plants while CFM is involved in printing and distributing of computer forms, stock forms and specialised forms.

CFM’s share price rose by 4% or 6 sen to RM1.42 yesterday on the news Energy Absolute is considering taking stake in the former.

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