In a study by global Research company Frost & Sullivan on ‘Future of Electric Vehicles’ in Southeast Asia, we now understand a little better about EV as we try to debunk some doubts about EVs.
EV sales have increased 23x in the past five years and 37% potential buyers in the S.E.A. region are considering EVs as a next car. The study indicated that one of three buyers is open to buying EV but have doubts about owning one. The main concerns about EVs are charging, range, driving and ownership,
In the domestic market, Nissan Malaysia was one of the first company to embrace EV evolution, way back in 2012 when they introduce the Nissan LEAF. Fast forward to today, EVs are yet to gain ground due to the limited availability of charging stations, in other words infrastructure. Many brands further delayed the EV transition with plug-in hybrids as the global markets are not quite ready to embrace it yet.
Plug-in hybrid cars are somewhat well-received with big names investing heavily in it. People have more confidence in them. And if the electric mode should fail to work in a plug-in hybrid, there’s always the petrol option. Potential buyers should note that there are three main charging options: standard, wall box and fast chargers. Standard charging takes longest, compared to wall boxes and quick chargers. Most plug-in hybrids these days already come with a wall box or a fast charge cable. or both (with additional cost). The Nissan LEAF for instance has a 6.6kW wall box that takes only 7 hours to charge full. An overnight charge should bump the LEAF to at least 80% capacity.
Fast charger allows a plug-in hybrid or EV to charge up within an hour. However, it could be quite an expensive option. Currently in Malaysia, these are the available fast charge outlets ABB in Subang, Nichicon in Bangi and Ayer Keroh Rest Area (southbound).
All charging cables are weatherproof to protect car and humans from shocks and surges.
EV range is another major concern for potential buyers. But, from the first infusion of EVs until present time EVs the expected’ distance range has improved by 56 percent. The study showed that most drivers in S.E.A only travels 80 kilometers on an average, therefore today’s EVs could easily suffice. The Nissan LEAF with 40 kWh batt, for example, could go 311 km on a full charge.
Driving experience is entirely different when you start driving an EV. Petrolheads will tell you it is not the same as driving a combustion-engined car without the cranking noise of the engine starting up, fumes from the exhaust and gears churning. However, everyone knows that EVs help save the environment and reduce the greenhouse effect. In other words, go green rather than go fast. Aside from not even being aware that the car has started, an EV like the 2.0l Nissan LEAF (150PS/200Nm) actually accelerates rather cleanly and effortlessly off the blocks, although mid- to top-speed tend to be a bit dry.