Friday 21 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), which is eyeing a leading role in the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure nationwide, wants to collaborate with partners to drive EV adoption in Malaysia.

“We believe that it is important for Malaysia to start looking seriously into accelerating the transition into low-carbon mobility,” said TNB chief strategy and ventures officer Datuk Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin.

“TNB is prepared to lead this exciting transition, not only as the infrastructure provider, but to drive a collaborative approach with a coalition of stakeholders to realise this important step towards decarbonisation,” Fazlur said at TNB’s Energy Sector Roundtable Engagement on low carbon mobility today.

In Malaysia, EV adoption is seen as a way to reduce carbon emissions but studies have shown that infrastructure is among top considerations influencing adoption, the roundtable was told.

Road vehicles are the second largest contributor of greenhouse gases after the power sector in Malaysia, and petroleum vehicles make up half of that emission.

Fazlur noted while TNB sees itself as the infrastructure provider, early charging stations have achieved only a 20% average utilisation rate.

“Infrastructure is our business,” he said. “But we believe that we cannot do it alone, we need to work with players in the industry to match supply and demand.”

The collaboration will also help the parties involved to realise the right level of ambition for the transition from internal combustion engines, he added.

The role of charging facility developers is different in different locations. US-based Tesla is seeking to develop both the charging infrastructure network and EVs in tandem, and this model is being adopted by other automakers like Audi and Porsche, said Malaysian Electric Vehicle Owners Club president Shahrol Halmi.

Notably, most of the charging is done at an owner’s home. EV adoption will also transform existing businesses completely, namely the fuel retail businesses involving over 3,000 stations nationwide.

On the positive side, Malaysia is currently in the midst of formalising its Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint  2021-2030 via the Ministry of Environment and Water, which is expected to spell out clear targets like percentage of EV adoption. 

Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said at the panel discussion that now is the right time to push for the EV agenda, as all parties are converging and the right incentives will help pivot from their existing operations.

Among low-hanging fruits to encourage EV adoption are tax incentives, including for complete built up (CBU) models, to allow importers to properly gauge demand before deciding to expand production through the complete knock-down (CKD) approach, that will also bring down the price, Madani said.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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