ChargEV to ramp up public EV chargers

By CARSIFU | 18 August 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: More electric car charging stations are coming your way. Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) on Monday launched ChargEV, a publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging station network aimed at encouraging more Malaysians to switch to EVs.

The move would also facilitate the country’s transition towards sustainable mobility and improve overall air quality.

Free public electric charging stations are nothing new in Malaysia, as First Energy Networks Sdn Bhd - a company owned by  Tan Chong Motor Holdings - started the ball rolling with a number of chargers in malls and other public places from October 2012.

It has to date 19 public chargers nationwide, with one even in Miri, Sarawak. The chargers tie in nicely with the range of electric cars that Renault and Nissan have. Both brands are distributed by the Tan Chong group, with only the Nissan LEAF currently available. The other full EV on sale in Malaysia is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. First Energy Networks said its chargers are compatible with those offered by ChargEV.

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GreenTech Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Peter Chin (left), Sashi and Ahmad Hadri at the launch of the ChargEV network in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

But what Greentech Malaysia aims to do now is to massively scale up the number of chargers. It said that a total of 25,000 ChargEV stations would be installed nationwide by 2020 to support Malaysia’s target of deploying 100,000 EVs in the next five years, along with 2,000 electric buses and 100,000 electric scooters and motorcycles.

It is expected that the wide adoption of EVs, which emit zero tailpipe emissions will contribute to reducing Malaysia’s carbon emissions by 6.4 million tonnes of carbon emission equivalent (MtCO2eq)by 2030.

An initial target of 300 ChargEV stations is set to be rolled out by 2016 across Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya, Penang, Langkawi, Johor and Malacca targeting high traffic areas such as shopping malls, hotels, office buildings and residential areas as well as along the PLUS highway. The first ChargEV stations are already operational at Mandarin Oriental hotel and The Curve.

The BMW i8 at the ChargEV roadshow (2)
During the initial phase, the cost of ChargEV system and installation will be borne fully by GreenTech Malaysia.

“Air pollution is a rising concern with road transport reportedly the second largest contributor to carbon emissions in our country," said GreenTech Malaysia’s chief executive officer (Ir) Ahmad Hadri Haris.

“Our over-reliance on conventional internal combustion engine vehicles will continue to aggravate this problem and there must be a paradigm shift from our current transport model. In this regard, ChargEVwill play a pivotal role in encouraging the adoption of EVs and consequently reducing Malaysia’s carbon footprint,” he said, adding that there are 90 EVs on local roads.

“ChargEV will prove to be a significant driver in Malaysia’s transition to sustainable mobility, in line with the country’sEV market penetration and carbon emission targets. The setting up of a comprehensive nationwide ChargEV network will greatly address range anxiety, one of the major determining factor for consumers to purchase an EV.”

The launch was held in conjunction with a five-day EV roadshow for public awareness. Surveys carried out during the roadshow indicated strong public interest in switching to more efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport, such as EVs.

Of those surveyed, 47% noted the substantial fuel savings that EVs could provide would be their key reason to make the switch. Additionally, 33% cited the significant environmental benefits EVs provide, given their zero tailpipe emissions, as a driving factor behind their interest.

Also present at the launch was BMW Group Malaysia.

“As industry leaders, it is our responsibility to introduce the latest products and technologies in the country, such as the i8, BMW’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle," said its head of corporate communications Sashi Ambi.

The BMW i8 at the ChargEV roadshow (1)
The i8, a hybrid, can also get a charge out of the chargEV station.

“It is also important for automakers to work with responsible parties to ensure that the most current and relevant infrastructures be introduced to also support the new products and innovation. The ChargEV initiative is a prime example of such an initiative which will ensure the future of electric vehicles and plug-in vehicles in the country,” he said, adding that the i8 could use the ChargEV network. BMW does not sell the i3, a fully electric city car, in Malaysia yet.

Following its success, the ChargEV roadshow will make the rounds at the 6th International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM), scheduled from Sept 9-12 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. IGEM, the region’s largest green technology business and innovation platform, will also be featuring the 3rd E-Mobilia World Conference focused on areas relating to sustainable mobility development, incentivisation, implementation and adoption.

IGEM is organised by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, co-organised by GreenTech Malaysia. The first three days of IGEM are open to trade visitors, with the final day open to the public.