Understand your electrical vehicle’s needs before buying one

Renault Zoe parked at Putra Heights. (DSF pic)

Getting started into owning a plug-in hybrid car can seem intimidating, especially when there are so many factors that go into charging your vehicle.

The idea of clean emissions is great and it has to start now. But is Malaysia ready for it?

Why are there not enough buyers for the second-generation multiple award-winning Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle (EV) at RM188,000?

Why are there not enough incentives from the government to embrace clean emission vehicles?

Why are there still small capacity motorcycles polluting the air?

Why are there many diesel-powered trucks and heavy vehicles releasing thick toxic fumes year in year out despite the mandatory inspections which are supposed to control this?

Here are some ideas to see if you ready to embrace EV ownership:

• Know the incentives before you buy

This tip applies to purchase incentives as well as charging incentives. Knowing your final (post-incentive) price will make your decision easier.

Factor in the reduction in fuel and maintenance costs as well as cost-of-ownership in the upcoming years. Many incentives phased out in 2018 and the 2019 national automotive policy (NAP) which was only shared in early 2020, did not provide a clear and precise EV, or hybrid vehicle incentive programme that made sense to the Malaysian car consumer.

• Make sure your home electrical system is ready

Amperage is important when installing a charging point, so make sure that the area in which you plan to put the point can handle the power needed. Check around with electricians to find out how much installation will cost.

• Locate charging stations near work and other regular stops

Knowing you have charging options near your office, favourite park (like Desa Park City), or another regular stop (BHPetrol station) will make it easy to get a fast charge.

• Find out the location of free chargers

In addition to the many fee-based public stations, there are numerous free options available. Find out where they are in your area and take advantage when the circumstances make sense.

In some cases, car dealerships (Like Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, Mercedes and Renault) that sell your EV model allow customers to charge for free.

Do not read US-produced content on EV ownership to get motivated to buy your own in Malaysia as their incentives and ownership experience only applies to the American car market.

What Tesla, Mercedes, Volvo and BMW are doing in North America caters to their individual state requirements and benefits.

Yes, premium car brands continue to sell plug-in hybrids in Malaysia, but this is their global direction and many car brands are phasing out petrol-driven vehicles from their production. So, it is global direction.

Speak to current Malaysian EV owners and also plug-in hybrid owners – there are a few thousand out there. Learn of their benefits and issues.

DO NOT believe what the Malaysian and regional media tell you in their many online videos and articles. They do not own an EV or hybrid vehicle and so they just re-write information from brochures and what is provided by car brands who need to clear their EV’s in stock.

Ask yourself: Why has Tesla still NOT opened a dealership here in Malaysia till this day? Not even a sales agent is present.

Ask yourself: In April 2019, the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, parent company of Chinese car brand Geely, unveiled a whole new EV sub-brand, Geometry, at a global launch event at Marina Bay Sands Hotel with Proton senior executives in attendance.

Why did Geely choose to launch its full electric car, Geometry, in Singapore and not in Malaysia when it has a strong growing partnership with Proton in Malaysia?

At the event, Geely also signed MoUs with representatives from Argentina, France, Norway, and Singapore to establish Geometry distributors in these countries during the global launch but no MOU or sales channel agreement was signed with any Malaysia business partner.

Geely says that this car has a range of 500 km with a single charge and can be charged from 30% to 80% in just 30 minutes with fast charging.

Does Geely know of some issue brewing that needs the attention of the Malaysian government?

This article is powered by DS&F. For more automotive updates, follow DS&F on Facebook and Instagram.