In its effort to promote green technology in the country, Malaysia has identified that the transportation industry is one it aims to focus on. The country has set a target of becoming a very important player in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Recently, Mitsubishi Malaysia launched its i-MiEV model, while Nissan Leaf and Renault are expected to follow suit in Q3-2013. Interestingly, EV manufacturers/distributors have set their sale targets to win the hearts of maiden EV owners in Malaysia.

To encourage an early population of EV owners, one challenge remains, that is the provision of a reliable charging infrastructure. Until recently, there are very few such charging stations put on trial in the Klang Valley, making accessibility to such a critical infrastructure limited and resulting in the so-called “range anxiety” to the owners.Generally, potential EV owners are reluctant to purchase EVs if the public charging infrastructure is not ready, while charger providers are careful to invest unless there is a critical mass of potential customers. Surveys conducted have established that the availability of a charging network/infrastructure is the single most strategic piece of user purchase decision.

This unfortunate “chicken-and-egg” situation has not helped much to encourage intensification of the industry. At such a budding stage, and taking the cue from experiences in other countries which have adopted EVs as an alternative to the traditional combustion engines, the Government plays a very important role through various fiscal and regulatory incentives.

UTM AIS created a spinoff company that manages to assemble a complete set of components which make up the entire charging infrastructure and the relevant services to EV owners. This has been made possible through UTM close collaboration with charger manufacturers, EV distributors, regulatory bodies and the ministries which champion green technology and/or efficient energy agenda.

Providing the public infrastructure is no easy feat as the capex required is relatively high. Furthermore, the installation has to grow at a careful phase in order to balance between the actual growth in the number of EV owners and the need to provide a sufficient number of chargers. The industry trend will grow slowly initially, almost at a plateau, to eventually perform quite exponentially once the trend has caught up.


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