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Harry and Stephanie Boswell with 06 Prius in Melaka, Malaysia
British expatriots Harry and Stephanie Boswell with their globetrotting 2006 Toyota Prius; very likely the first gasoline-electric hybrid in Malaysia. Behind them is the CoolTek home Harry designed and built himself. It has won praise from the Malaysian government as one of the first energy efficient homes built on the tropical Malay peninsula.

The World's Most Expensive Prius

Harry and Stephane Boswell's 2006 Toyota Prius has travelled further by sea than by land.

By EV World

Well, at least that's what Harry and Stephanie Boswell believe.

And why, you might ask, do they believe that? How many 2006 Toyota Priuses do you know of that have been shipped from Japan to England and then from England to Malaysia? They believe theirs is likely the first Prius to be imported into their newly adopted home -- they moved from cold and damp England to retire in warm and humid Malaysia several years ago and simply love it there.

Boswell tells EV World that he could have bought a right-hand drive Prius in Japan, but he couldn't read the Kanji-based displays. And since Malaysia follows the British and Japanese custom of driving on the right side of the road (not in a moral or political sense, mind you), he couldn't import one from North America. That left the only option buying one in England, which had already made the journey by container ship from Japan, and having it reshipped back to Southeast Asia. Stephanie has calculated the sea voyages total at 22,513 miles before they even sat in the car.

So, besides paying retail for the car, plus the original shipping and import duties into the UK, the Boswell's then had to pay shipping charges to Malaysia and that country's rather stiff import duties. But they sound delighted by their decision -- though Harry tells me that Stephanie grumbled a bit -- and provided us not only with a picture of their car, but also a detailed accounting of its performance after some 2,300 miles in the tropics. He notes that petrol (gasoline) in Malaysia is equivalent to 28p per liter in the UK or about $2.08 gallon in U.S. terms. Petrol in the UK is now around $7.40 per U.S. gallon. Harry loves to remind his friends how much more affordable it is to retire to Malaysia, assuming you can get used to the humidity, monsoon rains, bugs and tropical snakes.

  Harry's Quarter Million RM Prius
Prices paid for Prius T-Spirit with Navigation and Park Assist.

UK retail price less tax $ 35,563.98
Shipping to Malaysia Port Klang via Singapore $2,039.26
Malaysian import duty, import tax and car tax   $33,655.86
Import agents fees $428.54
Flat bed transporter for 120 miles to Melaka  $130.39
Government vehicle identification, anti-smuggling test   $24.34
Registration, road tax and number plates  $170.95
Comprehensive insurance for two persons  $745.25
Total price $ 72,758.57 or £ 36,927.594 or RM 251,105.832

Before the Boswell's ordered their Prius -- which is a bit of a risk since there is no warranty and no Toyota dealers in Malaysia set up to handle repairs of the car -- they built one of the first environmentally-responsible homes in Malaysia, called the CoolTek house. It includes insulated lightweight block construction, white metal roof, double thermal windows and passive solar cooling to help reduce the home's electrical energy load. Next month Harry expects another 'first' when solar voltaic cells on the roof start to provide all there electricity needs. The house is visible in the background of the above photo.

Here are the performance specs of the vehicle to date:

Since moving to Malaysia, Harry has become one of the country's chief promoters. He obviously loves his new home; his only complaint being that he wishes some of his friends would share the joys and join him and Stephanie.

Times Article Viewed: 24155
Published: 11-Jun-2007

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