UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) is championing carbon neutrality with mass production of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) – its direction for the future of the automotive industry in the country.Toyota has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, and part of the strategy is to produce a full line-up of low-emission vehicles through its electrification plans.
“To achieve this, the most realistic, practical and immediate solution is Toyota hybrid electric technology and vehicles, ” says UMW Toyota Motor deputy chairman Akio Takeyama.
“The mass production and growing acceptance of HEVs will lead to the entire automotive eco-system evolving to embrace a more conscious and concerted effort in reducing Malaysia’s carbon footprint.”
Toyota is one of the earliest pioneers of hybrid electric technology and has evolved and advanced the technology in the last 20-over years.
As of today, it has sold more than 17 million HEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) worldwide.
This push towards a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable alternative is projected to result in Toyota’s sale of eight million electrified vehicles per year by 2030.
In April 2021, Toyota announced an electric vehicle strategy that will see 15 new BEVs released by 2025.
Toyota is committed to have 70 electrified vehicle models by 2025, including vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel-cell electric, battery electric and hybrid electric.
UMW Toyota Motor will invest a further RM270mil locally into expanding its current manufacturing operations and facility. This amount includes, amongst others, the introduction of a new and technologically-advanced generation of HEVs.
This new investment is on top of an earlier RM2bil that went into the construction and commissioning of its new plant in Bukit Raja in Klang, Selangor.
Regarded as one of the most modern, most advanced and most efficient Toyota plants in Asia, the Bukit Raja facility is already well positioned at the forefront of Malaysia’s aspiration to become a regional automotive hub in energy efficient vehicles (EEVs).
For Malaysian car buyers, the local manufacturing of Toyota HEVs translates into advancing into a new era of motoring – one that gives them access to the latest and most innovative technologies at a price point that is practical and accessible to the greater masses.
“As a manufacturer, the immediate steps we can take to prevent global warming are to address our vehicles and manufacturing processes, ” says UMW Toyota Motor president Ravindran K.
“But, the initiatives do not and cannot stop here. It involves a conscientious change in mindset in society, educating the young of the importance of protecting the environment, and requiring the active participation of all stakeholders, ” he says, adding that both Toyota and UMW Toyota Motor’s interests have gone beyond the automotive realm to offset the effects of CO2 emission.
UMW Toyota Motor continues to be at the helm of numerous environmental action plans.
In January this year, the company organised the 20th edition of its Toyota Eco Youth programme – an initiative that began 20 years ago and has become a leading programme cultivating environment consciousness and innovation among the youth of the nation involving schools, secondary school students and teachers.
“The ultimate goal will not rest solely on vehicle electrification, but to achieve carbon neutrality and zero emission on all fronts – from putting cleaner vehicles on the road and addressing manufacturing processes, to helping to create greater awareness for the protection of the environment, ” says Ravindran.
UMW Toyota Motor acknowledges with gratitude and appreciation the Government’s key role and support towards the development of the automotive industry to position Malaysia as a leader in automotive advancements and to ensure sustainable development of the local automotive industry.
“We are in an ideal position to drive this ambition forward in making it a reality, and it is our hope that the Government will understand and support our endeavour for the local mass manufacturing of hybrid electric vehicles as an important cornerstone in the pursuit of wider electrification, ” says Ravindran.
“The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a challenging year for us.
“However, measures put in place by the Government have successfully restored and strengthened consumer confidence and purchasing power within the automotive industry. This illustrates the key role that the Government plays in the development of the automotive industry in Malaysia.
“The introduction of hybrid electric technology will quickly transform the automotive landscape in Malaysia for Malaysians.
“We hope that our endeavours to popularise tomorrow’s technology today through the mass introduction of HEVs will receive due support from the Government in the pursuit of a full scale realisation of vehicle electrification.
“We hope that the Government will also consider UMW Toyota Motor’s efforts to be included in the National Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint alongside battery electric vehicle which is in line with the Government’s plans, ” he says.