Aside from announcing a revamp of the road tax structure for electric vehicles, Ministry of Transport Anthony Loke has also said that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) is looking into a number of other incentives to entice the public into buying EVs. This includes special number plates that will differentiate these vehicles from other cars on the road.
“I have also told the Road Transport Department to come up with some other incentive for EV users, such as e-plates for EVs; we can have special number plates for EVs, to differentiate EVs [from] other vehicles. These are the things we can help to encourage the adoption of EVs,” he said at the Green Mobility and Transport Forum yesterday.
The mention of special plates could mean several things, such as a new number plate series specifically for EVs; this would be similar to Singapore’s “EVS” series of number plates for electric vehicles made in the country, like the Ioniq 5.
Other options include adding a letter at the front or back of the plate, as is the case in Germany, or producing a special green plate like the ones we’ve seen in China and the UK.
Loke’s mention of “e-plates” is also interesting, as it implies a different kind of number plate technology specific to EVs. This could include ideas as far-fetched as using digital displays for showing the vehicle registration, although that technology is still a ways away from becoming reality.
A more realistic interpretation would be “digital number plates” with embedded RFID tags, which would make it easier for law enforcement to track all vehicles, not just EVs. It may also allow users to pay for tolls, as Malaysia gears up for the planned implementation of multi-lane fast flow (MLFF) barrier-less tolls—tipped to use existing RFID technology—in 2025.
Having specialised number plates would enable easier enforcement of EV-specific benefits. It will, for instance, allow parking operators to quickly identify if an EV is actually parking in an EV-reserved parking space, preventing others from hogging these spaces which may have public chargers attached.
According to The Star, Loke said the MOT is aiming to announce details of the aforementioned incentives by the end of the year, alongside the new EV road tax structure.
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