Electric vehicle production to
begin in Malta
- Lm3.2m invested, 500 new jobs expected in five years
In what Economic Services Minister Josef Bonnici described
as "an innovative new venture that will seek to develop and tap
new technology", Innovative Transport Systems Malta Ltd yesterday
inaugurated its operations at the Mosta Technopark, where it will undertake
research and development activities on the production of electric-powered
vehicles. Finance Minister John Dalli was also present for the launch.
The German firm has made an investment of approximately Lm3.2 million,
which is expected to rise further upon expansion of production. Production
numbers, meanwhile, are expected to reach some 15,000 units per year
In addition to the Technopark facility, another site, comprising a large
factory at Hal Far, has been earmarked by the Malta Development Corporation
for the companys production facilities.
Asked yesterday why Malta was chosen for the investment big investment,
ITS Chairman Neville Chamberlain commented that there were various reasons
including the fact that the Maltese workforce is multilingual, highly
skilled, educated, and perhaps most important of all, flexible.
"Crucial is also the fact that Malta was an EU applicant until
last week and is now expected to join the Union later next year. This
greatly enhances funding opportunities in order for research and development
to be carried out on the island," he explains.
He adds, "According to research conducted prior to considering
Malta as our production base, we have come across an excellent report
on the production levels achieved by Maltese workers compared to European
ones. Moreover, there are more university graduates on a pro rata basis,
than in many other competitor countries.
He also insisted that Malta offers easy access to all markets due to
its advanced infrastructure and air/shipping connections and is an ideal
base to penetrate both European as well as the North African markets
The vehicle to be produced is the Innovan, which is engineered
to specifically address the requirements of niche markets mainly in
Europe. The promoters are confident that vehicle will be sold in metropolitan
cities, where the authorities are actively demanding and mandating clean
air transportation services.
Speaking at yesterdays launch, Profs. Bonnici applauded the fact
that ITS will produce electric vehicles in Malta. He explains, "We
have all become more conscious about the threat, to the environment
and to our health, from vehicle emissions as traffic has continued to
"Wearing one of my other hats, as the Minister responsible for
Enemalta, I am proud to have been involved in the decisions to phase
out leaded petrol and to switch over to a more environmentally friendly
type of diesel, with a much lower sulphur content.
"I am convinced this project will provide our manufacturing sector
with yet another tangible and concrete success story that will provide
the best advertisement for the future development of our manufacturing
sector. Government is convinced that manufacturing is destined to remain
one of the pillars of the Maltese economy and we are confident that,
with the additional opportunities that will be borne out of EU membership,
it can realistically aspire to further employment opportunities and
stronger growth prospects."