Selangor to have 1,000 EV charging stations by end 2023

SELANGOR will build 1,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by the end of 2023, with the aim of promoting the use of electric vehicles among the public.

State tourism, environment, green technology and Orang Asli affairs committee caretaker chairman Hee Loy Sian said there will be no allocation for the initiative as the state plans to collaborate with private companies.

“They will take the responsibility to invest in and manage the charging infrastructure, similar to how car parking services operate.

“As of now, there are 102 EV charging units under local authorities in Selangor, with MPSepang having the highest number at 29.

“Tesla will also contribute to the effort by constructing 10 stations, each equipped with multiple parking bays featuring EV chargers.

Hee said that discussions are ongoing with the local authorities, and workshops will be organised for all 12 local authorities under Selangor to discuss the implementation and process.

“We are planning to use a standardised pricing system through a single application to ensure consistency and avoid variations in costs.”

Hee added that the state is actively promoting the use of EVs as a measure to reduce carbon emissions.

“Vehicles are the largest contributors to carbon emissions. By 2030, our target is to reduce emissions by 45%.

“Our long-term goal is to achieve zero emissions by 2050, and that is why we must take action now,” he added.  ANN

The impending EV price war

Exciting times ahead as more car makers are entering the local electric vehicle market.THERE’S a new kid in town and if the buzz is anything to go by, he’s here to stay.

Tesla Malaysia kicked off car sales on July 7, with Model Y pre-booking at the starting price of RM199,000, and demand was through the roof even though the first vehicles are only expected to be delivered in January next year.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales have been on the rise over the last couple of years but Tesla’s entrance, as well as the emergence of Chinese EV brands Geely and BYD, are expected to “electrify” the Malaysian auto industry.

Geely, which is already jointly producing cars with Proton, will make Tanjung Malim in Perak the largest automobile city in the region, with a US$10bil (RM45bil) investment. Tesla will also invest significantly to establish a supercharger network, head office as well as numerous service centres.

Both these companies will create employment for tens of thousands of Malaysians, both directly and indirectly. They will help the country step up towards more advanced automotive technology and manufacturing, and develop new skilled and high-paying jobs.

There has been tremendous interest for these new jobs. Just last month, Tesla Malaysia conducted a walk-in interview for five positions – Sales Advisor/Inside Sales Advisor, Enterprise Sales Advisor, Delivery Advisor, Customer Support Specialist and Service Advisor.

Over 6,000 people showed up in Cyberjaya to fill these positions! Needless to say, there were a lot of disappointed people that day.

There will be more opportunities soon, however, when Geely starts operations at its Auto City in Tanjung Malim and Tesla launches its headquarters in Cyberjaya.

The wave of next-generation vehicle manufacturers making a beeline for Malaysia is the shot in the arm our auto sector needed. We’ve been languishing behind Thailand, which has become the auto manufacturing hub of South-East Asia the last 20 years.

But Thailand’s auto manufacturers are very much Japanese-centric. They predominantly make internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Malaysia should now take this opportunity to position itself as a regional hub for next-gen EV cars.

BYD, the world’s largest producer of EV, is set to make a splash next week when their Malaysian partner unveils a few variants of their best-selling cars. Their product will enter a competitive EV market that already has several big brands – Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes, Kia, Porsche, Volvo, etc.

Even though Malaysia has provided several incentives for EVs – such as full import and excise duties exemptions until the end of 2025 – the starting price for EVs for the above marques range from RM300,000 to RM1,000,000.

These luxury brands may have to rethink their pricing strategy because fresh players like BYD, Tesla and Geely will all have cars that are priced below RM200,000.

Before Tesla decided to set up shop here, the brand was available via parallel importers with prices exceeding RM600,000. The fact that the company’s chief Elon Musk is creating giga-factories around the world to produce more of his cars shows that his priority is volume and market share. The price of the Model Y in the Malaysian market indicates that the company is willing to go even lower.

All these factors, including the emergence of Tesla’s Chinese rivals, is music to the ears of Malaysian consumers. A sub RM200,000 price range gives us a lot of options against traditional ICE vehicles.

As well as a huge EV market boost, a price war now seems inevitable.

The one factor that is holding us back from truly embracing electric technology is still the inadequate infrastructure available for these vehicles. There has been much talk from stakeholders and government agencies about increasing our supercharger network, but this has been slow to materialise.

With the slew of new EV models available in the market right now, it is possible to do a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang without stopping for a recharge. There are even high-end EV vehicles now with a range of 500km.

While battery technology and charging capacity have improved to make a non-stop trip a given, the government must ensure a lot more purpose-built charging stations are available. This is the only factor seriously impeding greater adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

In the next two years, it is estimated that around 30% of balik kampung traffic will be via EVs, and if you include plug-in hybrid vehicles, that figure will surpass 50%.

We need to dispel this notion that EVs are only for the rich. In fact, the situation is the opposite in countries that have been quick to adopt and promote electric mobility. In China, the world’s largest EV market with an estimated 500 electric car makers, the average price of an EV is around RM100,000.

We have not achieved that price range yet, but the new entrants into our automobile market will mean that owning an EV now becomes a viable option for young people who have just entered the job market.

The “real” green wave is well and truly underway.  ANN