Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Toyota Prius is coming to Malaysia

Toyota has decided to bring Prius, the world’s best selling gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, into the Malaysian market. There is, however, much confusion among Malaysians over this novelty. Prius is actually the second hybrid vehicle sold here, after the Honda Civic Hybrid. There are, unfortunately, very few Civic Hybrids on Malaysian roads at the time of this writing.

On a Malaysia-based Internet forum, one member joked about the possible blunder of owning a Prius:

Oops, I can’t come to the party. I’ve forgotten to charge my car!

It should be noted that Prius is a hybrid vehicle, not an electric car. It still has a gasoline engine. It does, however, consume much less gasoline – perhaps by a third – as compared to a conventional vehicle with similar power. Since Prius is very fuel-efficient, it also emits less carbon dioxide, a major culprit of global warming.

You don’t charge Prius at home. The battery of the car is charged during everyday driving. The car also recovers the excess energy that would otherwise be lost during braking, and converts it into electricity. For this reason, hybrid vehicles are best for city driving, where traffic is stop and go.

Hybrid vehicles may be new to Malaysians, but they have been in Japan and the United States for quite a while. In fact, Prius has been the best-selling vehicle in Japan for three months straight.

How do hybrid vehicles compare to pure electric cars? We may be tempted to think that pure electric cars are better to the environment, as they do not rely on gasoline at all. However, bear in mind that the electricity in your home comes from power plants, which may not be so green after all. China is in a big push for pure electric cars, even though majority of the power plants in that country run on coal.

I can’t afford a Prius. But if you are rich, this green vehicle will give you a bragging right!


  1. Yay! I'm the first commenter here! :P

    I thought they were are here already?

    Ouh, there is already Honda's Hybrid car huh! Ouh...the battery of the car is charged through everyday driving? No that's really convenient right?

    Perhaps we should get one too...IF we have deep pockets. LOL :D

  2. Economically it is still not so attractive at the moment. The saving in fuel over let's say 5-year period should exceed the price difference with a petrol car for it to be popular....

  3. How much is the Prius?

  4. i am interested to know the price range too ~ any idea ?

  5. tekkaus
    No, Toyota has just decided to bring in Prius.

    Petrol is too cheap in Malaysia, so the saving in fuel is not enough to offset the price premium of hybrid vehicles.

    Mei Ting, 迷迭香

  6. 170k? wow! can get a crv alredy! =.=

  7. Wonder if our national car supplier, Proton, will start to embark any green vehicles.

  8. annant
    The government should provide tax rebate for this kind of green vehicles lah...

    Yes, Proton is teaming up with Detroit Electric to make electric cars.

  9. This car is popular in the US.

    Carbon dioxide is not the biggest culprit in global warming. Methane is and most of this gas comes from cows belching it. So a vegan driving a gas-guzzler is more green than a beef-eating person driving a small car. Food for thought, eh?

  10. No money.. Support malaysia car. cheaper.

  11. happysurfer
    So, are you telling us to boycott beef? Or maybe you want to poison the cows?

    Then, wait for Proton's electric car.

  12. I wonder how much does it cost for this car? And whether it lacks in terms of power since it's running partially on electric? :)

  13. witch
    It costs RM170k. Power shouldn't be an issue.

  14. they hv lots of it in aus and it is an awesome car

  15. Lisa
    Australia? Have you mistaken other cars for this one? AFAIK, the big markets for Prious are Japan and US.

  16. Electronic bike best la. Ultra green.