Late last year, the Malaysian government showed great bravado when it announced its aggressive target of installing 10,000 EV chargers by 2025. Now however, the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) has said that it must review this goal in light of the obstacles that are now being faced and the current state of the nation’s EV charger expansion.
“It seems that the target is quite aggressive because there are many issues we need to address and it involves many processes and agencies such as the approval process and agencies such as the Energy Commission, local authorities, and other parties,” said MITI Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
According to data obtained from the Malaysian Automotive Association, as of October 2023, 1,434 EV chargers have been put into service in Malaysia. As 2025 draws near, that number is still a long way off from the 10,000-charger goal. A very long way. The locations of the proposed 10,000 EV chargers in Malaysia have actually already been disclosed by the Malaysian EV task force, but that number will need to be revised.
According to an EV task group last year, plans called for the installation of 900 EV chargers in Kuala Lumpur, 100 in Putrajaya, 50 in Labuan, and 250 in Kelantan. You can click this link to get the whole list of future charger distribution.
The Energy Commission of Malaysia has reportedly taken more stringent measures in response to recent incidents at EV charging stations, and some EV chargers there may have temporarily shutdown. Operators of charging stations have also responded to concerns regarding the drawn-out approval procedures for EV chargers. One source said that achieving this target within the specified timeframe is hampered by concerns regarding: (a) the economic viability of charging stations, (b) the EV adoption rate, (c) the substantial cost and investment consideration, and (d) a reliable electricity supply.
Tengku Zafrul states, “One of the grievances expressed is the length of time it takes to get approval to set up a charging station. We should concentrate more on finding ways to expedite and streamline the approval process.”
I’m afraid it’s exactly as Tengku Zafrul says. Even if a dozen carmakers offer highly desirable and affordable EVs in the next few years, Malaysia’s charging infrastructure just won’t be sufficient to keep up. So it’s kind of like which came first—the chicken or the egg? Is the EV adoption rate slow because people are not happy with the charging network? Or are EV charger installations slow because people are not buying enough EVs?