Electric vehicles run purely on electric energy which has to be stored in battery packs. It’s a clean type of energy that has been available for a long time. However, getting it into the battery packs requires recharging and unlike petrol and diesel stations which are ‘everywhere’ in Malaysia, recharging stations are still very limited in number and spread. This is a factor which discourages many people who may consider the idea of buying an electrically-powered vehicle.
As it does not seem that the government plans to fund the establishment of a network of recharging stations, it’s up to the private sector to do it and one of the companies which has taken the initiative is BMW Group Malaysia. This is necessary if it is to sell more of its plug-in hybrid models since customers will only be interested if they are assured that they are not inconvenienced by not being able to recharge their vehicles easily.
In partnership with Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia), the car company offers its customers access to its ChargeNow mobility services via the ChargEV platform. The BMW ChargeNow service is a mobility service that makes everyday on-the-go more convenient. Using the ChargeNow card that also grants straightforward access to partner charging stations like ChargEV, customers can enjoy 24/7 support and access to over 95 charging locations on ChargEV’s current network.
“In the past year, we at BMW have introduced three all-new hybrid vehicles with eDrive Technology in the country – the BMW i8, the BMW X5 xDrive 40e and the BMW 330e. This move demonstrates a new understanding of premium vehicles that are strongly defined by sustainability. A key strategy for the nation to move towards sustainability mobility within the urban environment is by offering mobility services which make electric driving a comfortable experience and a daily pleasure,” said Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications at BMW Group Malaysia.
He added that the partnership with GreenTech Malaysia’s ChargEV platform is one such strategy ‘to create a new dimension and experience of Sheer Driving Pleasure and vehicle ownership in the premium segment’. “It is important that we ensure the necessary infrastructure is available to support the new technology as this is what will also increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As of today, the demand for both the BMW X5 xDrive40e and BMW 330e continues to grow. We have already begun delivering both vehicles to our customers; the BMW X5 xDrive40e currently has a wait list until Q2 2017 while the order bank for the BMW 330e is healthily growing. We are confident that the progress of these vehicles will continue to be positive,” he said.
There are various ways that owners can find participating public charging stations with ChargeNow. The first is by downloading the My BMW Remote app for BMW eDrive customers or the BMW i Remote app for BMW i customers which locates available public charging stations, checks their availability, and sends their locations directly to the vehicle. Owners can also use the onboard navigation system via BMW ConnectedDrive services in their vehicle to find public stations. Alternatively, customers can locate the stations by using the ChargEV online map, which displays the location of all ChargEV stations. Once a public charging station is located, the ChargeNow card provides the necessary access to the charging connector which plugs into the side of the vehicle.
GreenTech Malaysia plans to install 300 ChargEV stations by the end of this year (only 95 currently available at this time), with the total number increasing to 1,000 by the end of 2017, and 25,000 by 2020 to support Malaysia’s target of deploying 100,000 EVs in the next 5 years.