KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia has outpaced the nation’s deployment of charging infrastructure, according to Shah Yang Razalli, deputy CEO and chief green mobility officer of Petronas' wholly owned clean energy solutions company, Gentari.
During a breakout session at the Energy Transition Conference on Monday (Aug 28), Shah said Gentari’s charging ports (CPs) have seen a 60% quarter-on-quarter utilisation growth between the first and second quarters of this year.
He said the data illustrates that the government's initial effort to spur EV adoption is working, and that the company’s robust business model and customer offering are attracting customers to use its chargers.
The third thing it illustrates is the answer to the frequently asked question of whether the current state of infrastructure lags behind adoption, which he said was "yes".
“The current [charging] infrastructure state is lagging behind adoption because the moment we put chargers, especially in well-located areas, we see utilisation growth, [and] what is happening is also the growth of the number of CPOs (charging point operators).
“Typically, when you add more CPOs, utilisation goes down because you’re spreading [utilisation]. What it means here is that you put more [CPOs], there’s also more [utilisation], meaning that the [growth of] EVs on the road outpaces the rate of infrastructure deployment,” he added.
Gentari is targeting to deploy 400 charges in 2023 to support the government’s plan of having 10,000 CPs by 2025. The company has deployed 170 CPs in 2023 thus far, leaving another 230 to be deployed in the remainder of the year to achieve its target, according to Shah.
Gentari, which has been in this business for less than a year, said it takes between three to nine months to get approval for a CP in the interstate area ― the highways.
“The shorter time is where we don’t need any local substation upgrade, but the longer end of the spectrum ― of nine months ― is when the local substation is not adequate to support direct-current fast-charging and we need to go through an application process for that as well,” he said.
In contrast, Shah said the build time for CPOs is only between two to three weeks, adding Malaysia faces no supply chain constraints with chargers readily available and able to be deployed.
Hence, he suggested that the government and industry tackle this “low-hanging fruit” issue of lengthy approval process to speed up the deployment of CPs.
“For the first six to seven months, we had to go through quite a lengthy negotiation as well as approval processes... I think the effort by the government now to streamline the process shortening the period is a welcome one. We are participating actively and hope this will be able to conclude very soon and give certainty to the industry and the consumers in terms of streamlining of processes, and ensure that process is efficient,” he said.
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