One crucial aspect of car ownership is the overall cost, which includes expenses like insurance and road tax renewal. In the case of higher engine capacity vehicles, such as EVs, the road tax can be significantly higher compared to the average Myvi.
Unlike conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, which determine road tax based on engine capacity (cc) such as 1.3, 1.5, or 2.0, EVs lack an engine altogether. So how is road tax calculated for EVs?
Road Tax Calculation Based on Motor Kilowatt Output
Since EVs do not have an engine, the road tax calculation is based on the car's motor kilowatt (kW) output. A higher kilowatt output signifies greater power in EVs, similar to how horsepower is used as a measure for ICE cars.
Let's delve into the road tax calculation for a personal-use "saloon" car (sedan, hatchback, coupe, wagon, convertible). The road tax rates are as follows:
Fixed Rate (Cars Under 80kW)
Under 50kW: RM20
50kW – 60kW: RM44
60kW – 70kW: RM56
70kW – 80kW: RM72
For cars under 80kW output, the calculation is straightforward. However, for cars exceeding 80kW output, a progressive rate is applied to determine the road tax.
Progressive Rate (Cars Over 80kW)
80kW – 90kW: RM160 (base rate) + RM0.32 (progressive rate)
90kW – 100kW: RM224 (base rate) + RM0.25 (progressive rate)
100kW – 125kW: RM274 (base rate) + RM0.50 (progressive rate)
125kW – 150kW: RM524 (base rate) + RM1.00 (progressive rate)
Over 150kW: RM1,024 (base rate) + RM1.35 (progressive rate)
The progressive rate is calculated per 0.05kW increase from the base output. To gain a better understanding of how the calculation works, let's consider an example.
Example: EV Car Road Tax Calculation Suppose you decide to purchase a Nissan Leaf as your first EV in Malaysia.
Car: Nissan Leaf
Power output: 110kW
This places your car in the 100kW – 125kW road tax bracket.
First 100kW: RM274 (base rate)
Remaining 10kW: RM0.50 (progressive rate) x 200 = RM100
Total road tax: RM374
It's important to note that in Malaysia's Budget 2022, the government announced tax-free incentives for EVs, including road tax exemptions. This could be an opportune time to embrace the EV revolution.
While we're here, let's explore the road tax costs for some EV models available in Malaysia (as of November 2021), excluding the road tax incentives.
Is EV Road Tax Cheaper Than that of Combustion Engine Cars in Malaysia?
To compare the costs, we can convert kilowatt values into horsepower. Let's perform the calculation using the Nissan Leaf.
1 horsepower (hp) = 0.7457 watt
Nissan Leaf's Horsepower = 147 hp
Nissan Leaf's Road Tax = RM374
Therefore, for combustion engine cars with a similar horsepower to the Nissan Leaf:
Proton X50 (150 hp) = RM120
Audi A3 (150 hp) = RM70
In terms of horsepower, the road tax for EVs appears to be more expensive than that of combustion engine cars. However, it's crucial to remember that EVs will be exempt from road tax between 2022 and 2025, thanks to the recent budget incentives.