Is Electrification For You?

Jek Ray Low
4 Nov 2020
 

The most earnest and diehard of petrolheads will denounce the very existence of the electric car. They do not want to own, or be associated, with one, claiming the buzz of an EV doesn't give the raw visceral thrill of even the most humdrum of petrol engines. With more attractive government grants, and a targeted move to complete electrification by 2040, as well as falling EV prices, there seems to have never been a better time to make the switch to an EV. Here are a few reasons why we think a switch to electrical power may not be as far-fetched as it seems!

5) Relatively Short Commutes

For the bulk of the population, cars are mainly used to shuttle their kids to school, their spouses to work or to their nearest MRT station, and then straight to the carpark of the office building that they are working in. Said cars will then be parked up until the entire cycle is repeated, but in reverse, during the evening rush hour.

In this scenario, an EV makes sense, as commutes will never be long enough for range anxiety to ever be an issue. You'll just have to make sure you have the means to charge your car either at your place of work, or your residence!

4) Developments In Charging Infrastructure

To add on to the point above, as long as you have a place to plug into, an EV is a viable daily. The charging infrastructure is ever maturing, thanks to frameworks put in place by the government, which plans to have 28,000 charging points by 2030.

The idea though, isn't as absurd as it sounds, as there are at least 4 different companies offering public charging points all over the island. Car sharing service BlueSG, for instance, has installed upwards of 1,000 points island-wide for their own cars, with up to 300 open for public use. SP Power, and even Shell too, have charging stations dotted at convenient locations across the island. Developers such as CDL, have gone one step further, planning EV charging stations as part of their electrical infrastructure of their new developments.

3) Improvements In Battery Technology

The EVs of old are clunky, cumbersome, and generally inefficient machines. Battery technology of yesteryear resulted in laughable range estimates, and lacklustre power outputs even for a daily, city-driven vehicle, generally tarnishing their reputation in the eyes of the general population.

However, the EV has made a comeback in a big way, and the current crop of said vehicles do not really share a lot of the drawbacks of those early cars. For starters, battery technology has come a long way, especially in recent years, and energy density has gone through the roof. This means massively increased range (most EVs can manage upwards of 300km on a single charge), as well as loads of extra torque, available on a whim!

2) Lower Running Costs

EVs essentially only have one moving part in their drivetrain - the output shaft of the motor unit itself. Their relative simplicity should translate into lower maintenance costs in the long run, as there is just less to go wrong with as compared to an equivalent ICE-equipped vehicle, with its thousands of moving components in its drive line.

Sure, EVs may still cost a little more compared to their petrol brethen (a Kia Niro costs $110,000, compared to the $188,000 Kia Niro EV), but they are cheaper to commute in as well. The boffins over at Grab have worked out that 400km will cost you only $20 in charging costs, compared to $60 for a traditional ICE car, and $40 for a hybrid comparable to the Niro that we mentioned previously. Statistics also show that the average daily commute is around 40km, which, if you do the math, an EV will net you savings of upwards of $1,400 yearly as compared to a petrol-powered vehicle, and around $720 as compared to a hybrid. Inclusive of maintainance costs, an EV will actually cost you less to keep on the road, and this lower overall running cost should be enough reason to tempt some to switch!

1) Commuting In Silence

There's always a hum or a drone somewhere in an ICE car. You can't really blame it though - thousands of explosions are occurring every seconds to generate the power you need for forward propulsion, and that power is being sent via a gearbox to the wheels, which is yet another potential source of squeaks and rattles, especially in a more elderly car.

In an already stressful and fast paced society such as ours, every moment of silence and respite is surely welcomed, and that is something that an EV can offer you. No explosions for movement here - just electricity and electro-magnetism working hand-in-hand, rapidly firing you at the horizon, with a muted electrical whine for acoustical accompaniment

Superficially, a switch to electrical power seems to make a lot of sense. However, an EV is still not yet suited for everyone. If you enjoy your trips up North, especially for a bit of hotlapping fun around Sepang, the car’s range may not be sufficient. What’s more, on a track, most EVs will only let you do a lap or two in anger, before limiting power output to allow its battery pack to cool. Some though, just crave the sound of combustion, and EVs therefore, are not suitable for them as well. In both situations, a plug-in can help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and pure EVs. Regardless of propulsion method, you can check out our classifieds to pick out your next ride!


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