BMW Studies On The Acceptance Of EV In Malaysia

Anis | 25-03-2022 03:45 PM

Despite a relatively low total industry volume (TIV) within the Malaysian automotive sector, Malaysia is one of, if not the most, automobile-dependent countries in the ASEAN region.

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by BMW Group in Southeast Asia, 85 percent of Malaysian respondents stated they drive every one to three days, either to and from work (74 percent), to complete daily errands (65 percent), or to vacation on weekends (36 percent ).

With such a large market, it makes so much sense why automakers are worried about the acceptability of electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia, especially given the industry's rapid push to embrace electrification. According to BMW's survey, eight out of ten Malaysian drivers are receptive to seeing more electric vehicles.

Several reasons were given by the respondents, including a reduction in carbon emissions (72 percent ), financial savings from using electricity instead of gasoline (49 percent), and a more premium driving experience (40 percent ).

Nevertheless, nearly 60 percent of Malaysian drivers say they would prefer a petrol-powered vehicle over an EV for their next vehicle, citing issues such as range anxiety, maintenance costs, and difficulty charging their electric vehicles.

BMW, on the other hand, claims that these are “the concerns of yesterday”, claiming that the technology underlying electric vehicles and its ecosystems, including charging networks, has advanced to the point where such concerns are no longer valid.

In response to worries about range anxiety, BMW claims that its latest fleet of BMW I cars already has a "great electric range" of up to 425 kilometres, as shown on the iX xDrive40. BMW claims that recharging is only necessary once every two to three weeks, based on the assumption that most Malaysians only go up to 20 kilometres per day.

The BMW I Wallbox can provide a full charge overnight, in addition to reducing charging frequency, which will lessen disturbances to their everyday automobile usage. BMW Group Malaysia has begun distributing DC fast chargers across its dealership network, public places, and highways for frequent long-distance travellers.

Regarding the perception that EVs have higher maintenance costs, which BMW claims 41 percent of respondents held, the company claims that EVs cost less to maintain because they have fewer components that need to be serviced.

The company says that because its electric vehicles use modular battery packs, battery repair costs are significantly lowered because owners only have to replace the damaged module rather than the entire battery.

Even better, BMW also offers a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with free regular service, as well as a supplementary eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty for its EVs. According to the report, battery warranties (39 percent) and outstanding after-sales service (35 percent) are two of the most compelling reasons drivers switch to electric vehicles.

With 45 percent of respondents citing cost as a problem, the government's support for EV adoption, particularly with the recent EV tax drop as indicated in Budget 2022, also plays a vital role in motivating factors for car buyers in this country.

BMW Group Malaysia Managing Director, Hans de Viser said, “It is encouraging to see awareness and excitement around sustainable mobility. Malaysian drivers see EVs as the gateway to a more premium driving experience.

“Being the pioneer of electrified mobility in Malaysia and having been in the field since 2015, we have observed how Malaysian drivers are receptive and even enthusiastic about transitioning to EVs but remain concerned about key issues surrounding it – all of which we have been actively working to alleviate.”

He added, “Besides introducing the best that we have to offer with the latest fleet of vehicles from BMW i, we have also been proactively developing our infrastructure for charging the vehicles.

“With these initiatives, there is also an opportunity to change the perception of prospective EV owners in Malaysia on the significant advancements made and that an electric future for the passenger vehicle market in Malaysia is closer than they think.”

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