When it comes to alternative fuel vehicles, Malaysia has been receiving a lot of attention lately, much like the rest of the world. More vehicle owners have since turned to use electric vehicles while hydrogen vehicles have yet to make their way into the country.
Why alternative fuel?
The main reason is simple. Standard fuel price is always expected to go up as time goes by which will then surely makes alternative fuel becoming a better option. Eco-friendly products will always be preferred while maintenance in the long-run is supposed to be lower too.
Following the rest of the world
By the end of 2020 more car manufacturers have announced their lineups of EVs. To date, Norway leads the way followed by others like Sweden and Netherlands, among others. But would Malaysia be ready to go that way? Unknown to many, some of the known models here have already their own electric versions. What are those that we have now? The Nissan Leaf, sold for about RM190K has been around for some time now. Prior to this, one might recall when the only electric cars were made by SMART (ForTwo and ForFour).
About driving an EV in Malaysia
If you hadn’t noticed, there are booming numbers of charging stations coming up around major locations. If you are planning to buy an electric vehicle, you must know where and when you need to charge your car. It has been reported that there are now more than 300 charging stations located across the country. What you need to know is that most of these spots provide 3.7kW AC Chargers. They normally require not more than 8 hours to fully charge your vehicle. Some provide 22kW AC Chargers which will not need more than 6 hours. If you can find the 50kW DC Chargers, it takes less than 2 hours but so far, not many stations provide them.
In terms of pricing, EVs would naturally cost more than standard vehicles. To own an EV, you would need to allocate at least RM100K for the car. This is after the lowered sales tax as provided by the government. Without that provision, the price would surely go even higher.
What about electricity at home?
If you are to charge your cars at home, you would most likely need to do so overnight. This means you will need to pay more for electricity. While our electrical tariff is considered among the lower ones in the region, it would still be substantial for the owner.
So, would Malaysia be ready for these alternative fuels? The way it looks, EV is surely the way forward especially with charging stations increasing as time passes. As for hydrogen vehicles, it might still be a while before our vehicles can start using hydrogen fuel. While there are only 3 such cars in the market (overseas), like Hyundai Nexo, Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai, it would surely be a long time before Malaysian roads start having them.