KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi remembers the day he started driving his first all-electric car in 2017 when there were very few public charging stations in peninsular Malaysia.
The co-founder of the Malaysian Electric Vehicle Owners Club (MyEVOC) said at that time, it was a huge challenge for Eelectric Vehicle (EV) users to travel long distances outside the Klang Valley due to ‘range anxiety’. (Range anxiety refers to the concern about the distance an EV can travel on a single charge – and the fear of not being able to find a charging point on time to replenish the battery.)
“My car can go up to 400 kilometres per charge, so there wasn’t really much of an issue for daily driving, especially with overnight home charging.
“At that time, the only charging network available was ChargEV, operated by Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), and I had to rely on their app to know which stations were available. Reliability was a big issue so I felt discouraged from making long trips back then,” he told Bernama.
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MGTC (previously known as Malaysian Green Technology Corporation) introduced ChargEV – the brand name of its public EV charging station network – in 2015,
However, the majority of the charging stations were located in the Klang Valley, covering Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding cities and towns in Selangor as well as major urban areas along the west coast and towards the southern part of the peninsula.
Since then, the situation has improved by leaps and bounds. Currently, there is keen competition among more than a dozen charging point operators vying for customers and the best locations to install their charging ports, according to Shahrol Azral who was former president and chief executive officer of Malaysian Petroleum Resource Corporation.
Having an adequate number of public EV charging stations is vital to promote the widespread use of EVs, alleviate ‘range anxiety’ and prevent the possibility of motorists being stranded.
“The KL-Penang charger coverage has been improving but travelling to the east coast (of the peninsula) is still difficult and requires careful planning,” he said.
A study by Deloitte on the 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study Southeast Asia Perspectives published in March revealed that the biggest concern Malaysians have regarding battery-powered EVs is the lack of public chargers.
Most EV users described the east coast of peninsular Malaysia as an ‘EV desert’, where charging stations are few and far between.
A check by Bernama using the PlugShare application (a public platform that keeps track of the number of charging stations as reported by users) showed that at the time of writing, there were 36 stations in Pahang, six in Terengganu and only five in Kelantan.
Shahrol Azral said Malaysia’s Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint (2021-2030) has set a target of 10,000 public charging stations by 2025.
“As of August, we only have 1,246 (charging stations) deployed while the charger deployment along the highways has seemingly stalled since the launch of TNB’s (Tenaga Nasional Bhd) Electron (charging station) in February this year,” he said.
On September 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government agreed at the 42nd National Physical Planning Council meeting to improve the approval process for the construction of EV charging infrastructure through the Guidelines on Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Lots.
Anwar stressed the importance of the availability of charging infrastructure in the transformation of the country’s automotive sector, saying it is in line with the National Energy Transition Roadmap 2023 which aims for 38 per cent usage of EVs by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050.
This is also in line with Malaysia’s target of having 100,000 EVs on its roads by 2030, of which 50,000 are expected to be commercial EVs. To support EV penetration in Malaysia, the government announced EVs in
This is also in line with Malaysia’s target of having 100,000 EVs on its roads by 2030, of which 50,000 are expected to be commercial EVs. To support EV penetration in Malaysia, the government announced EVs in Malaysia would not be subject to road tax until December 31, 2025.
However, industry players believe the government should not rely solely on the private sector to put up the EV charging stations but must also get the local authorities involved.
By Bernama. 22 September 2023.
Source: New Straits Times. Business Times News. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/09/958236/malaysia-ready-higher-adoption-electric-vehicles. 13 October 2023.
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