Look into viable ways to recycle EV batteries, Premier suggests to Pekema


Abang Johari (fourth right) witnesses the symbolic handing-over of the Tesla Model Y from Ismail (third right) to Abdul Aziz, as others look on. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Jan 31): The Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders of Malaysia (Pekema) should look into ways to recycle electric vehicle (EV) batteries so as to prevent the lithium component from becoming harmful waste, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has suggested.

He views this matter as one thing that he is ‘concerned about’.

“I’m not a scientist, but the battery has a five-year cycle that can be renewed up to 10 years, but at the end of it, how do we dispose of the battery because it has lithium?

“Lithium is a material that is not friendly to the environment.

“Car companies are studying on how to recycle the batteries so that the lithium would not become a waste product that can threaten the environment.

“Maybe Pekema could do a study,” he said in his speech, prior to officiating at the ‘EV-fy Adoption’ event in Pustaka Negeri Sarawak here yesterday.

Jointly organised by Pekema Sarawak and SEDC Energy, the programme is meant to promote the adoption of EVs in the state, starting with government agencies in line with the federal government’s pledge of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Adding on, Abang Johari acknowledged that the EV engine was different from those of regular vehicles – meaning that technical expertise would be required in terms of maintenance and repairs.

“We would need technicians who can repair the vehicles if there’s any damage, and this would become a field of training that Pekema could help withy, through perhaps collaborating with our universities in producing technicians who could help in the EV business,” he said.

Abang Johari then commended Pekema Sarawak for ‘being on the right track’ with regard to the state’s Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.

It is stated that under PCDS 2030, one of the strategies is environmental sustainability, in view of Sarawak aligning itself with the global need to control global warming.

“We have our strength, which is diversity resources that are still green.

“We have to align ourselves with the global need to control carbon dioxide (emissions).

“We have to find alternative energy because carbon dioxide comes from fossil fuel in the transportation sector. When we realise the world’s problems, we look for the solution.

“The solution is to have renewable energy and Sarawak produces hydro energy, which is renewable.”

Abang Johari believed that the world economy would go in that direction, and in this regard, Sarawak had all the necessary renewable resources.

“When the process gets cheaper, we would be the main player in hydrogen economy by 2030.

“What I’m saying is that we have to explore new areas where we can contribute to the development of our economy.

“I will do my best to transform Sarawak. We are looking into renewable energy like hydrogen, hydro, solar, and wind,” he added.

Later at the event, Abang Johari witnessed the symbolic handing-over of a Tesla Model Y from Pekema Sarawak to SEDC Energy.

Also present were Deputy State Secretary Datu Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Dato Husain, acting Pekema Central Committee president Datuk Muhammad Nazari Noordin, and Pekema Sarawak president Datuk Ismail Abang Saufi.