Activity on the electric vehicle (EV) front in Malaysia is expected to climb significantly next year, following the government’s proposal to offer fully-imported EVs complete exemption from import duty, excise duty and sales tax beginning from January 1, 2022. These exemptions, which also include zero road tax, will last for a period of two years.
A number of auto companies have been gearing up plans to add battery EVs into their local model line-up, and in the premium segment, the likes of BMW and Volvo have already announced or detailed what’s coming our way, while Mercedes-Benz’s planned EV introductions are set to be revealed in 2022, closer to their point of launch.
With rivals having already announced their plans, it’s apparent that Lexus should follow suit in due course. The only EV the Japanese automaker has in its model range is the UX 300e. Given that the all-electric SUV has already been introduced in regional markets such as Indonesia and Thailand as well as in Australia, Lexus Malaysia should be looking to launch the vehicle here to take advantage of the tax breaks.
The UX 300e features a single, front-mounted electric motor producing 204 PS (201 hp) and 300 Nm of torque, which drives the front wheels via a two-stage reduction gear. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 7.5 seconds and a 160 km/h top speed, while operating range on a full charge is 300 km, based on a WLTP cycle.
The motor is powered by a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery, which can be charged in around five to six hours via AC charging at a rate of 6.6 kW from a wallbox. The EV also accepts DC fast charging of up to 50 kW through a CHAdeMO port on the left side of the vehicle, and getting the battery from zero to a 80% SOC takes about 50 minutes.
In Indonesia, the UX 300e is priced at 1.245 billion rupiah (RM365,600), while in Thailand the SUV goes for 3.49 million baht (RM436,600), sitting just slightly below the UX 250h hybrid in terms of pricing. In Australia, where it is available in two trim levels, Luxury and Sport Luxury, priced at AUD$74,000 (RM221,100) and AUD$81,000 (RM242,00) respectively.
Presently, the local UX variant line-up is priced between RM236,443 for the UX 200 Urban to RM290,335 for the UX 200 F Sport – with the EV tax and excise duty exemptions, it’s expected that the UX 300e will dip under RM300k in terms of pricing, although it remains to be seen how far it will go below that mark.
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