Electrifying the Road Ahead: A Comprehensive Guide to EV Charging Guidelines in Malaysia

Written by Richard Wee and Jasmin Nga

Introduction

In recent years, the landscape of transportation in Malaysia has undergone a significant transformation with the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs). While countries around the world have embraced EV technology for some time, Malaysia has only recently welcomed these eco-friendly alternatives to traditional combustion engine vehicles such as-BYD, Smart, Tesla and etc. The arrival of EVs in Malaysia marks a pivotal moment in the nation’s journey towards sustainable transportation solutions.

Unlike other nations where EVs have been a familiar sight on the roads for years, Malaysia has witnessed a relatively rapid adoption of electric vehicles in its automotive market. A notable milestone in this progression occurred in mid-2023 when Tesla, a prominent electric car manufacturer from the US, officially entered the Malaysian market. With ambitious plans to establish nearly 1,000 charging stations nationwide and a vision to expand to 10,000 stations by 2025, Tesla’s presence underscores the growing interest and potential for EVs in Malaysia. (Source: Nikkei Asia)

This article explores Malaysia’s current EV charging landscape, addressing challenges and opportunities in establishing an efficient charging ecosystem as well as the relevant legal framework governing EVs.

Regulations on EV Charging

Guideline 1: EVCB Planning Guidelines

The Local Government Development Ministry through the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) has established procedures and guidelines for the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in Malaysia. 

Planning and Design Guidelines

Under the guidelines by PLANMalaysia it lists down guidelines pertaining to the following:-

5.1 EVCB Location and Placement 

5.2 EVCB Provision by Device Type and Location 

5.3 Number of EVCB 

5.4 Bay Size 

5.5 EVCB and Non-EV Parking Bay Separation 

5.6 Wet Riser, Dry Riser or Fire Hydrant Position 

5.7 Automatic Sprinkler System Requirements

5.8 Main Isolation Switch 

5.9 Vehicle Fire Blanket Requirements 

5.10 EVCB at Petrol Station

5.11 EVCB in Rest and Service Area (R&R) 

5.12 EVCB at Open or Enclosed Rooftop Level 

5.13 Electric Motorcycle Charging Bay 

5.14 Electric Bus Charging Bay 

5.15 Electric Lorry Charging Bay

Development Application and Approval Procedure

Furthermore, under the Planning Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging Bay (EVCB), it  outlines procedures that serve as a structured framework for the development and approval process of existing EVCB projects. The procedure progresses through several distinct stages. 

The first phase, termed Process 1, involves pre-consultation, facilitating early engagement between stakeholders to address any initial queries or concerns. 

Process 2 entails the submission of plans for approval, initiating the formal deliberation process for development approval by the relevant authorities.

Subsequent stages, denoted as Processes 3 through 5, encompass activities related to the commencement of work, site monitoring, interim inspections, and notification of final inspections. These steps are crucial for ensuring compliance with regulations and quality standards throughout the project lifecycle.

Finally, Process 6 marks the conclusion of the development phase, involving the depositing of the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) or the Certificate of Practical Completion by the relevant Public Service Provider (PSP). This signifies the fulfillment of all necessary requirements and signifies readiness for operational use.

These outlined procedures serve to guide stakeholders involved in the planning, development, and approval of Electric Vehicle Charging Bay projects, fostering transparency, consistency, and regulatory compliance throughout the process.

Guideline 2: Energy Commission 

The energy commission lays down the Guideline on Electric Vehicle Charging System (EVCS)

The Energy Commission’s guide on Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (EVCS) primarily emphasizes the installation and operational aspects of the charging infrastructure itself.

Within Part 5 of the guidelines, it provides detailed instructions on various facets of charger installation, ensuring national compliance, competency in electrical wiring, and adherence to general guidelines for EV charging facilities. This includes specifications on the location requirements for installing EVCS and additional requirements pertinent to the installation process. Overall, the guide serves as a comprehensive resource, offering detailed insights into the setup and operation of Electric Vehicle Charging Systems, with an emphasis on compliance, safety, and efficiency.

In Part 6, the guidelines detail the overarching operational procedures for Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (EVCS) along with outlining safety audit requirements. This section provides comprehensive insights into how EVCS should function in day-to-day operations while ensuring adherence to safety standards through mandatory safety audits.

Moving on to Part 7, it delineates the maintenance protocols for EVCS, encompassing general inspection and maintenance procedures, prescribed schedules for maintenance tasks, record-keeping requirements, directives regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and competency requirements for personnel tasked with conducting maintenance activities. These guidelines aim to uphold the reliability, safety, and longevity of EVCS infrastructure.

Part 8 and 9 respectively offer guidelines concerning power quality disturbances and licensing obligations.

Conclusion 

The implementation of guidelines for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is imperative to ensure the safe and efficient deployment of EV charging facilities, which is crucial for fostering public confidence in EV technology. These guidelines help standardize installation practices, ensuring consistency and quality across charging networks.

Looking to the future, these guidelines pave the way for the widespread adoption of EVs, driving the transition towards sustainable transportation. As EV technology continues to evolve and gain traction, adherence to these guidelines will be instrumental in shaping a greener, cleaner future for mobility.

Published on 27 March 2024

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