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Things to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia 2021

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you will have heard of a very popular new concept of vehicles. These vehicles can range from motorbikes to cars and they run on electricity instead of petroleum. They have been growing increasingly popular because they can prevent pollution and climate change. While there are tons of benefits of owning it, there are many things that you need to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia.

Things you need to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia 2021

According to AutoVerse, they have compiled a list of very valuable and general advice that applies to all types of electric vehicles.

10. Practicality

An electric vehicle (EV) is not a practical choice for everyone. Whether or not an EV is the right choice for you will come down to several considerations, including how many kids you have, your daily commute to work (and other driving habits), and the resources you have to devote to a fully electric vehicle. In its current form, electric vehicles work best for young urbanites who live close to their employer and don’t have a lot of kids to drive up and down highways.

Things to know before buying an electric car in Malaysia: hybrid vs fully electric

9. Fully Electric vs. Hybrid

If you are environmentally conscious and like the idea of an electric vehicle, but aren’t yet convinced that a fully electric vehicle is the right choice, you should consider the compromise choice – a hybrid gas/electric automobile. Hybrid cars are much more efficient and greener than traditional gas-fueled vehicles. They are also more reliable than the current crop of electric vehicles, as it is much more likely that your electric car’s battery will die than your hybrid car’s battery will die and also run out of gas.

There continue to be many more gas stations littering the roadways than EV charging stations. For these reasons, people currently buy three times as many hybrid vehicles as fully electric ones, according to website fleetcarma. If you’re driving habits typically include more than a simple round-trip to the office or local mall, give full consideration to a hybrid option instead of a full EV.

Things to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia: Charging stations

8. Charging Stations

This is a big issue. As mentioned, there still isn’t a lot of charging stations around for people to plug their electric vehicles into. This issue can be especially problematic when travelling long distances far from home. Without a charging station, EV owners could end up stranded. This might not be a problem if you live in a major metropolitan city, but many North Americans still don’t have a reliable infrastructure around them for an EV.  Plus there is also the cost of running a charging station in your own home to consider.

While the price has come down to buy and install a station in a home garage that’s capable of charging an electric car battery, it can still exceed RM8000. And, there is also the hit to monthly home electricity bills to factor in. Sure, you’ll definitely save money by not fueling up at the local gas station, but your home electricity bill will jump up once you’re charging an electric car battery every night. While some EV owners turn to solar power to charge their car, the cost to buy and install a reliable solar system in a home is upwards of RM 40,000.

Things to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia: Maintenance

7. Maintenance

Electric vehicles are sophisticated pieces of machinery. They can also be expensive to maintain and fix in the event of a breakdown. Consider also that many licensed mechanics are not familiar with electric vehicles and don’t know how to repair them. Parts can be hard to come by and oftentimes, owners are forced to deal with the vehicle manufacturer when maintenance is required. This can get expensive.

6. Driving Range

The driving range is the elephant in the room when it comes to electric vehicles. Analysts and industry executives agree that the main issue keeping people from purchasing an electric vehicle is the distance that the cars can drive before running out of battery power and needing a charge. With a lack of charging stations available, it is safe to say most people won’t be taking cross-country road trips in an electric vehicle.

Right now, the Tesla Model S has the furthest driving range of any electric vehicle at 335 miles, according to an evaluation conducted by U.S. News and World Report. That’s decent when driving in a metropolitan area and close to home, but not great for people planning a road trip in the summer. Other electric vehicles with okay driving range include the other Tesla models (approx. 300 miles for the Model X and Model 3), Chevy Bolt (238 miles), the Nissan Leaf (151 miles), and the Hyundai Ioniq (124 miles).

Things to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia: battery life

5. Battery Life

We’ve already established that replacing an electric car battery can be prohibitively expensive, at more than RM20,000. So the question becomes how often will you have to replace the battery in your electric car outright? While most automakers claim that their batteries are good for more than 500,000 miles, or the life of the electric vehicle, the reality is that many batteries need to be changed after 150,000 miles. It’s not much different than the battery in your smartphone or laptop — eventually, it loses some of its strength and loses its charge faster than when brand new.

4. Sticker Price

Electric vehicles may be good for the environment, but they aren’t cheap. A compact electric vehicle such as the Chevy Bolt costs RM120, 000 for the entry-level model. The fancier Tesla Model X costs more than Rm280, 000. Tesla held a news conference when they were able to get the cost of their Model 3 sedan down to Rm150, 000 — which is a great step, but similar-sized gas cars still sell for much less.

3. Additional Costs

As we’ve established, there are many costs associated with owning an electric vehicle. With a gas-powered car, there are basically four expenses – purchase price, insurance, gas and maintenance. But with an electric vehicle, the costs include purchase price, insurance, general maintenance, charging station purchase, charging station installation, charging station maintenance, electricity bills, battery replacement, and public charging station costs.

These expenses add up in a hurry and can make owning an electric vehicle way too expensive for the average driver.

2. Hardware, Software and Firmware

Electric vehicles contain a lot of technology. Hardware, software, firmware, electric cars have it all. And this technology needs to be updated regularly. Some companies, such as Tesla, upgrade their vehicles’ technology regularly and automatically and don’t charge owners. Other companies are the exact opposite.

1.Rebates and Tax Credits

What can help offset all the costs associated with electric vehicles are rebates and tax credits offered by your local government(s). However, whether you qualify for either of these depends on where you live, and which political party is currently in power. Some jurisdictions provide financial incentives to own an electric vehicle and others do not.

Key Takeaways

Now that you have learnt all the things you need to know before buying an electric vehicle in Malaysia, you can consider whether the positives outweigh the negatives for you.

 

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