WITH the population of electric vehicles (EVs) set to increase at a fast pace from now on, there is an urgent need for the charging station network to also grow quickly. The government has set a target of 10,000 charging stations nationwide by 2025 and has asked the car companies selling EVs to also be involved in achieving this target.
Unlike cars with combustion engines which are sold and then providing fuel is left to the petroleum companies and their networks (which are the product of many decades), the EV charging network requires the involvement of the car companies, energy providers and other stakeholders to be established as quickly as possible.
BMW Group Malaysia has been among the companies which has put in a lot of effort in this respect and its authorized dealers are also making the necessary investments to set up charging stations. One of them is Auto Bavaria, the Sime Darby Motors unit which sells BMW and MINI vehicles and has installed charging stations at many of its outlets.
For the northern region, Auto Bavaria has now set up an EV charging facility for MINIs at Gurney Plaza in Penang. Located on level 6 of the building, the MINI charging facility comprises 3 units of the MINI Gen 3 Wallbox. These units can charge both fully electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. Offering scalable charging power of up to 22kW, the charging operation on the MINI Gen 3 Wallbox is a hassle-free process.
While the facility has MINI branding, it is not exclusively for vehicles of the brand. Members of the public with EVs that are compatible with the charging station can also use it from 10 am to 10 pm daily. There is also another existing charging station in the same building.
“In 2022, the MINI Electric accounted for over 30% of the MINI models delivered by Auto Bavaria Penang, demonstrating a growing demand for EVs in this region of Malaysia. The new facilities for charging MINI vehicles at Gurney Plaza aims to support this growing demand for electric vehicles as well as offer more access to public charging in the northern states,” said Vi Thim Juan, Managing Director, Sime Darby Auto Bavaria.
Mr. Vi said that Gurney Plaza was chosen for the facility as it is a popular mall strategically located in the heart of Penang. It is a location convenient for EV owners to charge their vehicles while they are shopping at the mall or nearby.