Published on September 26th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair


The 3 Times I Tried ChargEV stations All Ended in Disappointment

I’ve only had to use ChargEV stations on 3 occasions.

  1. I wanted to see how far I could go on pure electric power. Halfway between PJ and Banting, both my fuel tank and battery reserves were dangerously low. I was left with 2 options.

    Either leave the car to charge in a golf course for a few hours or drive a few kilometres and fill her up which would take less than 10 minutes. I actually did try the first option. But when I realised how late I would be a party, I shot off to the petrol station.

  2. Before attending an event in Bangsar, I parked in an EV-only spot in front of a restaurant nearby. It was pouring out, but I decided to try and charge it up. After getting the right cables in, I found that the ChargEV unit itself wasn’t doing anything. I went down to the security guards and asked what was up. Apparently, you had to be a patron of the restaurant for them to give you a charge. It even looked like they had custom wiring done to control the flow of electric.
  3. Earlier this year, I was driving down from Penang to KL. Traffic was extremely heavy. I decided to stop for a quick bite at a Petronas station in Perak. Because of the volume of traffic, most cars were double parked or forced to head to the next stop. However, because I was in an PHEV costing well over RM350,000, I was allowed to move the cone and park my test car at the ChargEV spot. Queuing? Hah, nothing cuts queues like money, my friend. I felt awful.

All Malaysians deserve the right to park, not just millionaires.

What have these experiences taught be about electric vehicle charging stations? Well, that they primarily function to create a much wider gap in privilege between ordinary Malaysians and the upper middle class.

Is the volume of CO2 cut impactful enough to reverse global warming? Probably not. But does it get you free parking and cheaper kilometres on subsidised electric.

What I’m saying is that my experience with ChargEV has been disappointing.

We’re all concerned about the environment, but if we want this shift to electric to be meaningful and impactful, it has to be done right and not half-heartedly. Maybe a greater emphasis on cheaper, more consistent, and encompassing public transportation should be where ChargEV’s funding goes.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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