BMW offers more EV chargers via new partnerships

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE premium automaker BMW Group Malaysia has partnered parking reservation app ParkEasy, Shell Malaysia and Sunway Group to offer new electric-vehicle (EV) charging bays at the latter’s properties.

The German carmaker continues to spearhead efforts in creating a network of charging stations in the country as the demand for electric cars has witnessed an increase in recent years.

MD Harald Hoelzl (pic) said BMW alone has delivered about 15,000 units of EVs in the last five years.

“This signifies not only a strong demand for electro- mobility in the country, but the need for its long-term sustainability. To facilitate this vision, BMW will continue to expand the accessibility of charging facilities to electrified-vehicle drivers nationwide,” Hoelzl said at the launching event in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Currently, there are about 20 BMW i Charging Facilities across Malaysia. This accounts for about 5% of the total number of the charging stations in the country. It was last reported in September that Malaysia had over 400 EV charging stations nationwide.

Hoelzl said the partnership with ParkEasy and Shell Malaysia in creating 10 Reserve + Shell Recharge Bays will pave the way for more similar initiatives in the future.

The new charging bays are located at three major Sunway Group properties with five bays available in Sunway Pyramid, three in Sunway Pinnacle, and two in Sunway Velocity.

Also present at the ceremony was Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah who underlined the conglomerate’s commitment to sustainable development.

“We plan to integrate technology even more deeply to establish the Sunway City Kuala Lumpur as a model of ‘smart sustainable city’ of the 21st century. Today’s initiative marks another step in this direction,” Cheah said.

Meanwhile, Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Iain Lo said the company’s involvement in building more EV charging stations locally is part of its effort to serve the needs of its 10 million customers weekly.

Shell Malaysia currently has 12 charging bays in Malaysia.

However, plans to expand the number of charging stations in the country will depend on the EV demand and usage trend, Lo said. The oil giant is open to the prospects of deploying the chargers at its petrol stations but no timeline has been given.

ParkEasy CEO Warren Chan, who co-developed the parking reservation app for the charging bays, explained that the technology is created to increase parking efficiency and reduce the time spent looking for a parking spot.

“When the opportunity to collaborate surfaced, we took the chance knowing fully well that ParkEasy can successfully facilitate and enhance the charging behaviours of the plug-in hybrid and EV drivers in Malaysia with our parking reservation service. Working together with Shell Malaysia who initiated this idea, is one of our first steps towards innovation,” Chan said.