Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Electric cars better bet for environment in long run

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YOURSAY | ‘You invest in a technology not necessarily for its current state, but for its future.’

Electric cars: Not as green as you think

Kleeo: I appreciate the author Darshan Joshi’s warning not to jump headfirst into electric vehicles (EVs) just because it sounds green. We have to keep in mind, though, that the entire first world is moving in that direction.

What will happen once more and more cities start banning diesel and petrol vehicles? What about when Malaysians wake up and start demanding cars that don't choke up streets with pollution?

We need to push for both electric vehicles and the greening of our power generation. Both can be accelerated.

Anonymous 2450121480909934: When you invest, you invest for the future, not the current state, of a technology.

By the time you perfect the efficiency of the current gas technology, battery technology would already have advanced much further, and with autonomous driving taking out taxi drivers, you create many more efficiencies.

Autonomous hive fleets replacing individually owned cars will create significant environmental benefits.

But yes, invest in gas technology and forget future technology. So much for these 'thinktanks'.

Anonymous_1529132749: Competing companies in the EV market are big names like Tesla, Google, Apple, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, BYD, Geely, and more than a dozen others. Some of these companies have market capitalisations close to US$1 trillion.

Malaysia, with an education system that lowers the passing mark in examinations to 17, wants to compete against these giants?

Clever Voter: The article somewhat is incomplete. The correlation between EVs and coal is unusual. It's not the fault of EVs. Twenty percent of our energy production comes from coal and the remaining from gas.

Millions are being spent on identifying renewable resources, while per capita consumption has been increasing at more than ten percent on average – way above the global average – but less than ten percent comes from renewables despite these efforts.

To say that EVs are as bad or worse than fuel-powered cars is wrong. Efforts must be stepped up to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel.

Secondly, fuel-powered cars are one of the worst contributors to carbon dioxide and pollution. To meet the high demand for energy, the government must push for higher production from renewables, either through providing fiscal incentives to the private sector or acquiring new technologies to harness the renewable resources.

Although solar production has limitations, there are ways to better use such resources for household consumption. The underused biomass requires better logistics.

We have less than 15 years to go with our gas deposits. With our addiction to fossil fuels, the new Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry under Yeo Bee Yin has challenges ahead. The electric car is, in short, a better bet for the environment.

Eric W: It is time to utilise more renewable energy and it is time for cars to run on electricity. The amount of cars sold per annum has never reduced with or without tax.

Our environment is getting worse with more weather disasters happening and unpredictable weather conditions. It’s a chicken-and-egg story.

A driving agenda and action are needed, whether to start forcing the change of fuel cars to electric, or to develop readily available renewable energy sources.

These are both needed, instead of adhering to the whims of certain individuals or parties, or organisations’ agenda.

Sleepy: Critical mass is coming with major marques investing in energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) research and technology.

With critical mass, fossil fuel including coal will no longer be a viable option for electricity generation. When one talks about EEVs, one is talking about the near future and the options available like solar.

Shovelnose: It would be very short-sighted if policymakers and project proponents push for EVs as just another glamour project, if the government does not make a similar major shift in power generation to a sustainable model in the land of year-round sunshine and huge energy potential from hydro dams.

Be producers, not consumers - Dr M in justifying third national car proposal

Frankie: We voted for a change of government because we were hoping to see a just and fair administration minus the corruption, not for a third national car.

And should you go that way, I understand your logic of protection of Proton during its infancy in the past, but that protection should also have warranted the carmaker being one of the best, not a crappy car where users spend more on repair and maintenance than on the car.

Mahsuri: Repeat after me, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad: Focus on areas of comparative advantage, and dismantle all public policies that support the breeding of self-entitlement and subsidy mentality. Otherwise, any industry you try to develop will never prosper, even if it’s in an area of comparative advantage.

The old fox is telling half-truths again to suit his flawed obsession. Basic cost-benefit analysis, Mahathir. Hyundai and Proton started their journey together, and South Korea and your government back then shoved protectionist policies down our throats for some 30 years.

Now, Hyundai is soaring while Proton is crashing. Malaysians are still stuck with cars desired by no one, granted with some improvements today.

Leave it to Geely to develop this further. A better-managed Perodua was a positive by-product, though still not exportable.

Japan succeeded in building a world-class car empire as they have a superior work ethic and developed high-tech capabilities. South Korea did it because they have a big enough population to reach minimum demand, which supported economies of scale, a factor still not present in Malaysia today. They also have a relatively strong work ethic.

Under Mahathir, these downstream industries, local manufacturers of nuts and bolts and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, all grew lazy and fat just serving Proton, so when demand for the car dropped, they had no network of customers to shift their reliance to.

What high-tech industry are you dreaming of? After 30 years, both Proton and the subsidiary industries you hoped to develop to create jobs are all producing output that is below globally accepted standards.

You understand the law of comparative advantage, and this does not exist for Malaysia with regards to car production, and there are many other industries that can drive the shift to high-tech capabilities: corner the global halal market for all industries, biomedical technologies, sustainable and organic crop mass production, solar and alternative energy solutions.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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