Malaysia is being electrified by hybrid vehicles and 2018 will be a watershed year for all the hype surrounding them. The extended tax incentive to purchase PHEVs (Plugin Hybrid) or EVs (Electric Vehicle) coupled with more public charging stations becoming readily available, the trend in the market will only continue to grow as drivers become more environmentally friendly and wiser with their pursestrings. The government’s policy ensures that buyers can enjoy up to a whopping 30% deduction when purchasing any of these vehicles.

The future of automobiles is inevitably going to be in the electric market. With heavyweights Ford announcing a USD11 Billion investment into electric and Audi completely cutting off its gas and diesel research, Elon Musk must be grinning like the cheshire cat since Tesla has opened up the floodgates for competition.

Using a hybrid vehicle is certainly more cost efficient. Energy is harnessed into the battery from both the engine as well as regenerative braking technology meaning the mileage on such a vehicle comparatively increased, whilst slashing down on fuel consumption.

However, due to the amount being invested into the technology, a real stumbling block to owning an electric vehicle is the initial purchase. The going price for a desirable hybrid is still going to cost you more than getting their petrol-only counterparts. In addition to this, the available hybrids on the market are usually towards the upper-mid to luxury end of the spectrum. This will no doubt change once more sustainable technological advancements make their way into the production line but for now, looking good and going green still has its price to pay.

For those who are getting charged up over the decision to switch to electric, we have put together a list of some of the best hybrids available in the country right now to help you decide what might be the best for you.

1
MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid

When it comes to electric vehicles in Malaysia, the most exciting news of the year so far has been the launch of the new Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid. The car is packed with a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine and electrical motor that pumps out 224bhp and 385 Nm of torque, the highest ever in the MINI model range. Decked with BMW‘s latest technology and interface, the Countryman Hybrid comes with an Auto eDrive mode, which switches back and forth between engine and battery depending on your speed, a Max eDrive option, which uses the battery only and a Save Battery mode, which uses petrol only whilst charging your battery. The powerful electric technology of the car can take you up to 42Km using just the battery with a max speed of 120kph.

RM 255,000

2
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is a tank. The updated and locally assembled  version of Volvo’s favoured SUV was launched in Malaysia back in June 2016 but it still remains one of the best hybrids in the market. This seven-seater is powered by a 2.0 litre four cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E engine and an electrical motor, producing 320bhp and 400Nm of torque. The electric range stands at 43km and of course comes with all of Volvo’s high standard safety features including seven airbags, front wheel collision, lane keeping aid and roll stability control.

RM 400,000

3
Mercedes-Benz C 350 e

If you are wanting to make the switch to electric with an added boost to your C class then this Mercedes 2.0 litre turbocharged combustion engine puts out a nice 279 bhp and 600Nm of Torque. The highly desired Airmatic air suspension gives you an incredibly smooth and quiet ride as road noise and tyre vibration is highly muted. Fuel consumption is brought down incredibly compared to its petrol-only cousin reaching to as low as 2.1 litres per 100km. This is all thanks to a 6.2 kWh high voltage lithium ion battery that takes you up to 31km when running on pure electricity.

RM 280,000

4
BMW 330e M-Sport

If the C-Class is not your thing then this hybrid BMW is its closest competitor. Also powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, the 330e M-Sport can churn out 252bhp with 420Nm of torque, working in harmony with state of the art electric motor that can reach a top speed of 120 kph on just electric. If an SUV is what your wanting to get behind with this brand, then have a look at the BMW X5 xDrive40e.

 

RM 250,000

5
Toyota Camry 2.5 Luxury Hybrid

If you are looking to shave off some of those extra costs and unnecessary sports features yet still be behind the wheel of a solid hybrid vehicle then the Toyota Camry is the best upper-mid range choice. Launched in 2015 , this Camry still comes with the refinement of wood trimmings and leather seats but without the price tag of the cars above. As a hybrid, the car still harnesses a decent amount of push coming with a 2.5 litre engine coupled with two electric motors giving you an output of 143bhp and 27Nm of torque.

RM 169,000

 

6
BMW i8

Of course we can’t talk about electric cars and not feature the BMW i8. This plug-in hybrid supercar has a turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that kicks out 362bhp and 570Nm of torque. It blasts the 0-100kph in 4.4 seconds, topping out at 250kph. The fully electric drive takes you up to 35km and hits a top speed of 120kph. Beautifully designed, the technology and the power on this car are not for the faint of heart — and neither is the price.

RM 1.2 million

 

Tengku Muzhaffar Petra
Watches and Culture Editor