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Shell launches cross-border charging network in Johor but M’sian EV owners aren’t too excited

Back in March 2021, Shell and Porsche Asia Pacific (Porsche) had announced their plans to launch a cross-border, high performance charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs). Called the Shell Recharge HPC, it’s said to be Southeast Asia’s first.

Once implemented, it would offer EV owners the convenience of travelling from Singapore all the way up to Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia without worrying about range anxiety.

Did you know: Range anxiety is an EV owner’s fear that their battery does not have sufficient charge for the vehicle to reach its final destination or that a charge point won’t be available for charging “on the road.”

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This HPC network will consist of 12 charging points spread out across 6 Shell stations located along the North-South Expressway in Malaysia.

The first charging point has now been launched at the Shell station in Tangkak Lay-By (South Bound), Johor. Next up to get a charging point will likely be Pagoh Rest Area (South Bound), located in Muar, Johor.

After Johor, the other Malaysian states that will be home to the HPC network include Negeri Sembilan and Perak.

According to reports, all these charging stations should be fully operational by H2 2022.

For convenient EV charging along highways

The stations are equipped with 180kW direct current (DC) chargers that Shell states can charge an EV from 0% to 80% in 30 minutes, depending on an EV’s model and capacity.

If there’s only one car charging, it could benefit from the full 180kW rate, if there are 2 cars, both get a 90kW rate.

3 payment tiers are available for EV owners to choose from:

  • Standard Rate (pay per use, no subscription) – RM20/5 mins.
  • Gold Member (1-year subscription) – RM12/5 mins for the first 25 mins, and RM5/5 mins thereafter. (Applicable for the first 10 hours per annum.)
  • Platinum Member (3-year subscription, complimentary with the purchase of a Porsche Taycan) – RM10/5 mins for the first 25 mins, and RM5/5 mins thereafter. (Applicable for the first 12 hours per annum.)

Each tier comes with a RM4 confirmation fee, and offers varying discounts and additional benefits, with more details available here.

The bookings and payments will be made through the ParkEasy app. Upon confirmation of a reservation, the parking bay with the charging station will be held for you for up to one hour before your arrival.

Yet Malaysian EV owners’ sentiments appear lukewarm

Taking a look at a local FB group for EV enthusiasts and owners, MyEVOC, I was surprised to see that their overall reaction to this news leaned more on the “meh” side.

(To be clear, this group does not represent the overall population of Malaysian EV owners, but it still gives us some insight into what the community thinks of this HPC network.)

As for why? Well, there seem to be a couple of reasons. The most common one I saw was that the prices quoted by Shell are considered hefty.

Particularly because it’s charging owners by 5-minute intervals (aka time taken to charge your EV) instead of per kW, the latter of which some owners prefer.

The station at Tangkak / Image Credit: Shell

The basis for that argument also lies in how each EV has its own charging curve. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a charging curve basically refers to how the charging rate of an EV changes over a duration of time.

As an EV gets fuller, it charges more slowly. For an EV that’s sitting at just above 10% battery, it may juice up fast and utilise the full 180kW rate Shell offers.

But once it hits the 50% or above range, this rate may get slower, which means it will no longer benefit from the 180kW rate. All these % figures are dependent on your EV model.

By then, an owner is simply overpaying for less kW to continue charging their EV, since they’re charged based on the time they spend plugged in.

Furthermore, this is assuming the EV model in question is able to even consume 180kW of charge in the first place, since some older models cap their charge intake at a much lower kW.

When we last interviewed a few EV owners about their own journeys about making the switch from petrol, they shared that charging stations (or the lack thereof) weren’t a big issue.

Not every owner may be equipped with their own portable chargers (that require a 3-pin wall-mounted socket to work) though. So, in a pinch, Shell’s HPC network would still come in clutch for a juice-up on the go.

  • Learn more about Shell Recharge HPC here.
  • Read more EV content here.

Featured Image Credit: Shell

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(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

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