Saturday, August 29, 2009

Electric Vehicle

Recently I published a post on hybrid vehicles. In this post I will blog about another (supposedly) green technology – electric vehicle, or EV.

Based on what I know, it is easier to make an EV than a hybrid vehicle such as Toyota Prius. China’s BYD and Chery have both marketed EV. Even Malaysia’s underperforming Proton has teamed up with Detroit Electric to make EV. We should see EV hitting Malaysian roads in the near future.

While the technology behind the EV isn’t exactly state-of-the-art, there are a few concerns:

  • How far can the EV go in one charge?
  • How long does it take to charge an EV?
  • Will we be able to charge our EV in hotels and shopping areas?

Take Mitsubishi’s iMiEV as example. With air-conditioner off, this mini electric car can go for 160km in a single charge – not enough to reach my hometown from Kuala Lumpur. Charging takes 14 hours at 110V or 7 hours at 220V. Mitsubishi does have ‘quick charge station’ which can charge the batteries to 80% in 30 minutes. However, I am not sure what it takes to install such quick chargers.

Whether an EV is good for the environment depends on where the electricity comes from. If the electricity is generated from coal, good luck.

So, will you buy a Proton EV when it is available?

Mitsubishi iMiEV


There is another category of EV which are also equipped with gasoline engines. These are called plug-in hybrid vehicles. China’s BYD has already rolled out plug-in hybrids, while GM and Toyota are planning theirs.


  1. 160km in a single charge? Not bad I must say. But it is really that green?

  2. That Mitsubishi mini is so cute.

  3. tekkaus
    I think EV is good as your second car. You use EV for city trip, and drive conventional vehicle for long distance travel.

    Mei Ting
    Yes, it is cute, but small. A bigger vehicle will have shorter range.

  4. If there are more positives than negatives, I might consider buying one. I think a lot of things need to be in place before we are ready for this kind of vehicle. Thanks for the info, KS.

  5. well it's good for the environment, reduce carbon emission.. but i think many will still opt for the usual petrol-fueled vehicle.. unless there's a ban on petrol/diesel-fueled vehicle.. =P

  6. happysurfer
    Exactly. Infrastructure required to support electric vehicles is not there yet.

    Charging the electric vehicles would be an issue, so it would not become mainstream anytime soon.

  7. Perhaps need to wait until the technology is more matured, at least can charge quicker and become more mainstream... wait until we cay use buy batteries from Tesco. :)

  8. If the price is attractive, can consider buying one for spouse to go to market, haha...

  9. neo
    The batteries are too heavy. Tesco needs to hire mechanics to do the swapping job :P

    Yes, it can be your second car.

  10. These cars look perfect for driving in the city or short distances. For long distances... not so much apparently.

  11. Zhu
    The range of 160km is definitely too short for a vast country like Canada.

  12. hi..would love to own one if possible..

  13. wenn
    Proton EV should be here in a few years.

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