THE infrastructure of the current electric vehicle (EV) must be reviewed to support the industry’s growth and ensure the success of its rollout, rather than just relying on government subsidies and tax incentives.
According to Dr Rezal Khairi Ahmad, CEO of NanoMalaysia Berhad, the EV charging infrastructure is currently lacking and needs to be improved.
Distance anxiety is another factor that is deterring potential EV buyers. In order to overcome this, the government must take steps to improve the quality and quantity of public EV chargers.
In addition, the government also needs to consider how the infrastructure will be managed once the EV market grows beyond a certain threshold.
“Proposals for placing EV chargers in petrol stations and RNR (rest and retreat) sites must be overhauled,” Dr Rezal told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in an exclusive recently.
“There are issues with the current design of these facilities, which leads to long queues, especially during peak hours.”
“With the introduction of the new EV models, the current ‘touch and go’ system of fuel dispensing will no longer be relevant. Instead, EV drivers will have to stop and wait for a period of time before they can continue driving. This means that petrol stations will become less convenient for them, and they will begin to look for alternatives,” he said.
He added that it is understandable that the sentiment of many Malaysians is that EVs are not suited to Malaysian roads, despite the public awareness regarding the technology.
“Unless we have developed a certain technological advantage, we’ll be able to charge from zero to 80% over five minutes or under 15 minutes, and I think there are a lot of movements towards that until we come to that point.”
“The standard EV chargers have to be redeployed to different locations. Overnight charging is that everyone should have one. I think in certain countries it has been legislated to have one to promote a Department of EV as such.
“For rural areas, a strategy must be devised to ensure that the electricity supply is reliable and stable.
“I have seen this company develop a purely green charging station, which is solely dependent on solar power with the intervention of energy storage systems, be it batteries or any other form, to provide the reservoir.
That reservoir is just a reservoir to provide enough power to charge any EV vehicle.” he added.
“So all these so-called catalogues of possibilities need to be cleverly, you know, number one curated, categorised accordingly, and deployed according to their needs and wants.
“Local geographical location is critical. Otherwise, you put the wrong piece in the wrong place, and you’ll have a very low software utilisation infrastructure.”
In regards to nanotechnology, he explained that the use of nanomaterials is crucial to improving the efficiency of EV charging.
Rezal explains that nanomaterials have a greater surface area, which allows more data ions to land on the electrons, increasing the amount of charge that can be stored within the battery.
Nanomaterials also increase the overall capacity of the battery, meaning that the same battery could last longer than previous versions.
He also explains that nanomaterials in rubber tyres can help to reduce wear and tear. He says that this would enable EV cars to travel further distances between charges.
“Malaysia is a producer nation in terms of rubber exports. Then having those nanomaterials, which we have developed in the past five years to improve the durability and performance of tires, will be part and parcel of our bigger game plan.”
“Not just the battery, not just the electronic side of it, but even the material side,” he said.
He added that Malaysia has the potential to produce cheaper EV parts due to its abundant natural resources.
“We are looking at consolidating it with, uh, like-minded agencies, the whole of nation approach, whole government approach to roll up all these components. That’s why we are able to produce this thing at better margins and more cost-effectively.”
Tax incentives to encourage consumers to buy electric cars should be introduced to the market in order to improve the adoption rate of EVs, says Rezal.
“With the removal of tax, and the imposition of excise duty and whatnot, it pretty much slashed the price to a certain level of affordability.”
“We should also look into providing incentives at the company’s level. So we need to look into providing tax programmes, incentives to the batteries, net importers, so on and so forth.”
He says this will allow a greater number of companies to enter the market, creating a larger volume of EVs and reducing the unit price for consumers, thus democratising the ownership of EVs. — by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic credit mgtc.gov.my