Published on August 12th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
This Is How Far Behind Our EV Charging Infrastructure Is Now
How bad is Malaysia’s EV architecture in 2021 in comparison to Thailand and Singapore?
A couple of days ago, we covered the plan by MARii and PEKEMA to improve the country’s EV charging infrastructure. After the article was published, many industry insiders came forward with information about the current state of Malaysian EV infrastructure.
AC vs DC charging, Why It Matters
When we talk about EV infrastructure, one of the most important things to take note of is the number of DC Fast Charging stations are available. DC Fast Charging is what removes range anxiety, as even a short 15-minute top-up should be able to give you enough charge to get where you need to go.
AC Charging is only useful for overnight stints or if you’re charging up at home. If you’re going to park a car at a hotel, for instance, having a charging bay will help you wake up with a full ‘tank’ of battery juice.
Needless to say, AC chargers are less important, but also less costly to install than DC Fast Chargers.
How Many Public DC Fast Chargers Are There In Malaysia?
There are about 500 public AC charging stations in Malaysia and only 9 public DC Fast Charging stations. Another 10 are in development.
Compare this with Thailand, where there are 1406 public AC charging stations, and 771 public DC Fast Charging stations.
That’s right. Thailand has 3 TIMES the amount of AC charging stations and… 85 times the number of DC Fast charging stations! Even when you count the population difference (they have more than double Malaysia’s population), that’s still an insanely large delta. It’s almost as if Thailand is taking on electrification to reduce carbon emissions instead of looking at it as a business.
We can also make a comparison to our smaller island neighbour to the south. Singapore has 61 DC Fast Charging Stations.
Where is Malaysia’s EV Charging Infrastructure Heading?
Today’s Memorandum of Agreement between MARii and PEKEMA sees the two joining forces to set up 1,000 DC Fast Charging stations in the country by 2025. Since there are already 10 in development, let’s assume the number of public DC Fast charging stations in Malaysia will be 19 by the start of 2022.
That means to get to 1,000 in 2025, Pekema and MARii will have to build 981 DC Fast Charging Stations in the space of 3 years. That’s more than the current number of Fast Charging Stations available in Thailand. How ambitious.
Have Malaysian EV Charging Infrastructure Projects Failed Before?
Yes. I mean, just look at this 2015 article we published. Greentech Malaysia promised 25,000 EV charging stations by 2020. We’re now nearly through 2021 and at about 2% of the original target.
This time, because PEKEMA is involved, there exists more of a business plan to make this work. PEKAMA will probably use their APs to parallel import used electric vehicles to Malaysia from the UK, where electric vehicles are being heavily subsidised to meet climate goals. They will probably develop an in-house payment system for use of their DC Fast Charging network. This ought to create a closed-loop for them to get customers in and keep them hooked.
Is it enough for the plan to work? Why is MARii more interested in this method of doing things rather than working with OEMs like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, who have all got CKD operations and already bring in electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles? We don’t know. What do you think?