Here’s How This Japanese Company Is Investing In Electric Vehicles In Malaysia

Japan’s SmartDrive receives JETRO grant to establish Electric Vehicle (EV) Mobility Data Platform in Malaysia.
Image from SmartDrive Malaysia.

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SmartDrive is a Tokyo based firm that specialises in mobility data platform. The company has initiated a strategic plan to create a Electric Vehicle (EV) Mobility Data Platform in Malaysia.

SmartDrive Malaysia, a local subsidiary is to take point in this initiative. They will gather and utilise information and data to facilitate the development of Malaysia’s EV ecosystem.

The platform will help drive Malaysia’s shift towards increasing the presence and use of EVs while expanding the local EV industry.

SmartDrive has experimented in Japan in optimising EV charging points and using its data to create new EV related businesses to a positive outcome.

The move initiated by SmartDrive was after they were awarded a grant by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a Japanese government related organisation that stimulates digital transformation in the ASEAN region.

The grant is dedicated specifically to develop and demonstrate EV Mobility Data Platform in Malaysia together with local stakeholders.

Khairul Khalil Ishak, Director of SmartDrive Malaysia. 

To maximise the potential of EV Mobility Data Platform, SmartDrive will collaborate with two Malaysian entities;

  1. Management & Science University (MSU), which will provide support for several resources, including R&D and future business potential.
  2. Garisan Industries Sdn. Bhd., will apply its keen knowledge and technical know-how in Automotive Software Engineering.

Using the grant from JETRO, we aim to leverage on SmartDrive’s unique expertise to build this EV Mobility Data Platform in Malaysia, which will seek to gather meaningful information and data, particularly on the use of EVs and the development of charging stations. Potential users – both at the private and government level – can then plug in and effectively use the extrapolated data from the platform to enhance their services or open up new avenues for business opportunities.

 Khairul Khalil Ishak, Director of SmartDrive Malaysia. 

Director of SmartDrive Malaysia, Khairul Khalil Ishak also added that they are confident in Malaysia and the certainty that the EV Mobility Data Platform will greatly benefit the country in its push towards the promotion of low-carbon mobility and the increased use of EVs.

Image from SmartDrive Malaysia.

Driving Malaysia’s electrification agenda

SmartDrive’s Mobility Data Platform has gotten a welcome interest in Malaysia especially by the Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU).

Under the patronage of the Selangor State Government, SSDU is mandated to lead initiatives which will form the base of Selangor Smart State as a liveable Smart State in ASEAN by the year 2025.

Dr. Fahmi Ngah, Managing Director of SSDU stated that the Smart Selangor Action Plan 2025 aims to empower people, businesses and the public sector to future-proof Malaysia’s most advanced state by providing suitable technological solutions for smart state applications.

Image from SmartDrive Malaysia.

From Japan, to Malaysia, to the world

SmartDrive Malaysia is the company’s first overseas subsidiary with business operations.

Since it’s inception in March 2020, SmartDrive has established itself as a provider for a number of business-to-business (B2B) products and solutions in the insurance, Internet of Things (IoT) and management space.

One of SmartDrive’s first offerings upon entering Malaysia was a service that allows companies to monitor real-time locations of its fleet and track vehicle travel times.

SmartDrive also launched SmartDrive Aware in March of this year. Aware is a mobile app that enables businesses to evaluate employees’ behaviour and performance to reward them accordingly.

The company is also working with motor insurance providers to provide telematics and smart insurance services which will allow them to reward good drivers with added benefits and incentives including premiums discounts.

The JETRO grant to establish Mobility Data Platform marks yet another notable milestone for SmartDrive in bringing Japan and Malaysia in the matter of technology, expertise and promoting symbiotic trade and investment between both countries.

Besides promoting investments into Japan, JETRO is also committed to promote mutual cooperation by accelerating open innovation and create new business opportunity for Japanese firms with overseas start-ups. Realising Malaysia’s tremendous progress in mapping out its Electric Mobility agenda, we are confident that this grant is a step in the right direction which will enable SmartDrive’s EV Mobility Data Platform to catalyse this progress

Mrs. Mai Onozawa, Managing Director of JETRO Kuala Lumpur.

Khairul affirmed that SmartDrive’s commitment towards the long-term success of the EV Mobility Data Platform in Malaysia.

He also wants to establish a strong proof of concept with this pilot project here within a year, before initiating similar platforms in other ASEAN countries. 

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