Rising interest in the Electric Vehicle (EV) market has taken the world by storm in recent years. Pivoted by raging concerns regarding the effects of fossil fuels on the environment that has contributed to a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, more people are looking at EVs as a viable alternative that could potentially see this form of pollution die down.
This was further proven during the COVID-19 pandemic when global lockdowns resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gases from gasoline or diesel vehicles. Now, everyone around the world is itching to hop onto the EV wave, in spite of its demand now surpassing the supply of materials needed to manufacture one.
With the current economic situation, car ownership has become a luxury commodity. Yet, this fact has not affected Malaysia’s ranking as the third highest in the world in terms of it and the public’s interest in EVs.
A recent study by the BMW Group found that an eight out of ten drivers (80%) in Malaysia would like to see more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road for its cost-effective make-up and contributions to reducing carbon emissions.
On the other hand, the remaining 59% would still opt for conventional gasoline vehicles, motivated by concerns ranging from maintenance costs that comes with owning an EV to the access of charging stations necessary to power one. Despite this, there is an estimated 500 EVs out on the road today, with that number increasing as its popularity of takes full force.
Hoping to capitalize on its environmental benefits, the Malaysian government is vying to be a fast-growing country for EVs in Southeast Asia as a potential hub for EV manufacturers to the ASEAN market.
Earlier this April, the government announced its support for EVs through tax exemptions and high-value foreign investments in hopes that it could kickstart an era of transformation for the nation in the automotive ecosystem.
This would see efforts placed into the transport, manufacturing, assembly, and R&D of EVs in Malaysia. The encouragement of EV use would also be in accordance with the government’s 2021-2030 Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint, and as such, several incentives and subsidiaries have already been put into practice to boost its progress.
Shifting From Gasoline To Battery
A common concern amongst those considering getting an EV is the question of the shelf-life of the lithium-ion battery used to power an EV and the issue of public places not incorporating enough EV charging stations in parking lots. But that might not be the case for long.
It was recently reported that EV Connection, a homegrown EV charging specialist, had partnered up with Singapore’s Go by City Energy to bring more integrated EV charging services to Malaysia with just the power of a mobile app. This is just the first in what will eventually be a widely spread solution to cater to the growing demand for EVs.
Since we might be living in an EV-driven world sooner than we think, Malaysians have already looked into investing in potential EVs that are on the precipice of making a splash in the market. With that said, here are some of the most talked about models set on kickstarting our local EV-lution:
Hyundai Ioniq 5
First teased last year, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Korean automobile manufacturer’s first step into the EV arena as not only being eco-friendly but also considered to be an affordable EV option. Pre-orders for the car were at an all-time high, with some of the first customers to have booked their own having just received theirs earlier this year.
Heralded as Hyundai’s masterpiece of ingenuity and sustainability, the Ioniq 5 was made with the need for more eco-conscious mobility solutions with lower environmental impact in mind. Not only does it run impeccably, but its interiors were crafted using eco-friendly and sustainably sourced materials.
Developed under Smart Automobile, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Group and Geely Holding, the Smart 1# has already piqued the interest of those who have laid eyes on it. Don’t underestimate its fetching build for this little EV boasts a host of futuristic features packed into a sleek design, from concealed electric door handles to a floating halo roof.
Taking cues from the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) electric vehicle platform developed by Geely, it won’t be long before we see the Smart 1# on the road when it makes its debut under Proton’s distribution arm, Proton Edar, as the official importer, distributor, and dealer of Smart vehicles in Malaysia.
Always one to keep abreast with the latest developments in the automotive industry, BMW is not far behind with their own fully electric SUV. The BMW iX series is a dedicated line built based on a wholly sustainable concept that lies in the use of exclusively renewable energies and natural, recycled materials during production.
A popular choice among Malaysians, this super SUV EV has an extremely low energy consumption which can be further improved when driving in MyMode Efficient mode and allows it to emit 45% fewer greenhouse gas emissions over its entire life cycle thanks to its highly efficient construction.
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8
Poised to be the first fully electric car to be locally assembled in Malaysia, the XC40 EV the third CKD XC40 variant to come to pass and one of the few to be fully integrated with Google Maps and hands-free voice control enabled by Google Assistant. This also means the XC40 will be able to lead you to the nearest charging stations should you be in a pinch or during long trips.
And it gets better. Not only does the XC40 incorporate the use of sustainable materials, but it also gives you the choice between power and responsible driving to enjoy the comfort of one pedal drive and the impressive strength of pure electric motors and all-wheel drive with zero tailpipe emissions.
So, whether EVs are the future of automotive or just a step towards a more ecological society, it doesn’t look like the EV craze will be dying down anytime soon. With a myriad of big names in the automobile industry looking to debut their own brand of sustainable vehicles, one thing’s for sure: we’ll be spoiled for choice.