Published on August 15th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Why Mercedes To Slow Down Its Malaysian Electric Vehicle Charge
Customised Incentives and lack of an Electric Vehicle road-map might be the reasons.
In July this year, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a grand master-plan to move swiftly into a full electric vehicle line-up starting in 2021 with 4 new battery electric vehicle (EV) for the global market. Now in August, Malaysia seems to be taking an EV side step as we recently found out. Let us explain.
In a recent Reuters report, it mentioned that Mercedes-Benz plans to invest more than 40 billion euros (USD47 billion) by 2030 to be ready to take on Tesla in an all-electric car market, but warned the shift in technology would lead to job cuts.
Outlining its strategy for an electric future, the inventor of the modern motor car said on Thursday it would, with partners, build eight battery plants as it ramps up electric vehicle (EV) production.
From 2025, all new vehicle platforms will only make EVs, the German luxury automaker added. At Mercedes-Benz, the shift will see an 80 percent drop in investments into combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies between 2019 and 2026, which the group said would have a direct impact on jobs. EVs have fewer components and so require fewer workers than combustion engine vehicles.
Daimler said that as of 2025, it expects electric and hybrid electric cars will make up 50 percent of sales with all-electric cars expected to account for most of what it had earlier estimated over its previous forecast that this would happen by 2030.
So, why a sudden hesitation in Malaysia? Before Covid-19 hit Malaysia, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) was already on track to release full battery electric vehicles (EQ) and a plan was already in motion. In June 2019 the EQC full EV was teased to the Malaysian media when the S560e was launched.
A left-hand drive EQC was shown with an estimated selling price of RM600,000. The EQC electric SUV is powered by two motors that’s capable of 450km of driving range and quick charge from 10 percent-8o percent in just 40 minutes. Impressive and some would say a side by side contender to the Porsche Taycan which is priced from RM585k.
Fast forward to August 2021 and it seems that Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is taking a cautious stand in the introduction of its EV range. At the recent 2021 E-Class Malaysian launch virtual event, a question was put forward on the arrival date of their electric vehicle and the reply was ‘not so soon’ because the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed down their planning progress.
MBM was having issues in preparing their dealers for EV after-sales, battery handling and parts. Experts in each field were unable to travel to Malaysia to provide training for their dealers. The dealers were all not ready for the high investment in an EV workshop facility and also staff training.
Selling a used EV from England or Japan like what approved permit (AP) holders do is very hazardous to Malaysian buyers as AP holders do not offer after sales, warranty and parts when necessary.
Then when there is an issue, the customers will run to the brand owners, like MBM and scream for attention as the vehicle comes from their factory. What must be understood by used AP recon-car EV buyers is this, you buy recon, you have no legal rights to scream at the brand owners as you did not buy a new authorised EV with full factory backing.
Lack of understanding and common sense leads to some Malaysians buying a used EV thinking they will be looked after.
So, until further notice, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is taking a ‘wait and see’ with our pandemic situation before moving ahead with the full EV plans. Be patient, it is coming.