EV Connection Sdn Bhd/JomCharge managing director, Lee Yuen How, said although there is an improvement in the approval process in terms of the documentation to deploy charging points by the Charge Point Operators (CPOs), the same cannot be said of the installation process on the ground.
“The installation process also needs to be approved and it still takes a long time (to get the approval of local councils, landowners and so on) to deploy a charging point. The local authorities and landowners need more guidance to improve the approval process.
“This (delay in the approval process) is the challenge CPOs are currently facing in rolling out more charging points on the ground. Sometimes it takes us up to nine months for an installation to be made from start to finish,” he said in his presentation titled ‘Addressing Challenges of Early Electric Vehicle Adopters in Malaysia’ during a breakout session at the recent Energy Transition Conference 2023 organised by TNB here.
Lee said with more EVs hitting Malaysian roads, there is a need to deploy more EV chargers not just at interstate highway stops, shopping malls and hotels but also in rural areas, especially on the east coast.
“In terms of EV adoption and acceleration, the government can help by providing incentives to (private CPOs) to boost (charging station) deployment in certain rural areas like (the) east coast, otherwise we would have to depend on corporations with ‘deep pockets’ such as TNB and Gentari (Sdn Bhd) to support the roll-out in the east coast,” he said.
GoCar Mobility Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Wong Hoe Mun hopes the government can help local CPOs such as JomCharge and Gentari to deploy more chargers by speeding up the approval process and collaborating with local councils as well as through policy.
“Currently, not many (local) councils are involved in deploying public chargers. Most of those available are private chargers owned by CPOs.
“For car-sharing operators like us, it would be great if our users could pick up their cars from one location at a council parking (lot), rent it for a few hours and leave it at another location that has free public charging facilities,” he said, adding that countries like Norway have implemented free charging points for EV users.
Besides the insufficient EV charging infrastructure, there are several other obstacles standing in the way of boosting the number of EVs on Malaysian roads.
Despite Malaysia being on the cusp of becoming a high-income country and government tax breaks offered on electric vehicles, EVs are still too expensive for most.
Locally assembled or locally produced EVs would bring prices further down and provide consumers with more options but Malaysia’s national carmakers – Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) – currently do not have fully electric vehicles in their model line-up.
However, Perodua recently said they have plans for the local assembly of EV models with their Japanese partner Daihatsu.
Driven Communications Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Paul Tan, who is also an automotive blogger, said it will take time to achieve EV prices similar to that of the Perodua MyVi, an affordably priced car, adding the manufacturing and assembling must be done by the national brands.
However, he said it is impossible for imported EVs priced under RM100,000 to enter Malaysia for now due to the restrictions set by the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti).
According to Miti’s Franchise AP policy, a new completely built-up EV can only be imported into Malaysia if its price tag
According to Miti’s Franchise AP policy, a new completely built-up EV can only be imported into Malaysia if its price tag in the local market is above RM100,000.
Meanwhile, Zero Emission Vehicle Association president Wan Ahmad Zam Zam Wan Abd Wahab, said to attract foreign investors to Malaysia’s EV manufacturing sector, several crucial points need to be considered.
These include the necessity for long-term planning in strategy focusing on a five- to 10-year horizon rather than the short term; ensuring political and investment stability; and providing clarity in terms of the roadmap and path towards EV adoption and the ecosystem.
“Standardisation and clear policies need to be implemented by the government through the establishment of a specific ‘one-stop centre’ to handle EV adoption and policies,” added Wan Ahmad Zam Zam.
In March, the government announced American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors’ entry into Malaysia and in July, the automotive giant announced its strategic expansion into the Malaysian market through Tesla Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
According to a joint statement by Tesla and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), the move is a direct response to the Battery Electric Vehicle Global Leaders Initiative introduced by the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry.
Tesla will set up a head office, sales centre and service centre in Malaysia. It will also install its ultra-fast chargers, hire a local workforce, train students, collaborate with academic institutions and work with local companies to develop the ecosystem for the charging infrastructure. – Bernama
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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