Shell and Porsche Asia Pacific (Porsche) announced their plans to introduce a cross-border high-performance charging network (HPC) for electric vehicles (EVs) back in March 2021. It's called Shell Recharge HPC and is said to be the first in Southeast Asia.
Once implemented, it would offer EV owners the convenience of traveling from Singapore to Thailand via the Malaysian Peninsula without having to worry about range fears.
Did you know: Range fear is the fear of an electric vehicle owner that their battery is not sufficiently charged for the vehicle to reach its destination, or that no charging station is available for charging “en route”.
This HPC network will consist of 12 charging points spread across 6 Shell stations along the North-South Expressway in Malaysia.
The first charging point has now been put into operation at the Shell station in Tangkak Lay-By (South Bound), Johor. Next, the Pagoh Rest Area (South Bound) in Muar, Johor will likely get a charging point.
After Johor, the other Malaysian states that host the HPC network are Negeri Sembilan and Perak.
According to reports, all of these charging stations should be fully functional by H2 2022.
For convenient charging of electric vehicles along motorways
The stations are equipped with 180 kW direct current (DC) chargers which, according to Shell, can charge an electric vehicle from 0% to 80% in 30 minutes, depending on the model and capacity of the electric vehicle.
If only one car is charged, it can benefit from the full 180 kW tariff, if there are 2 cars, both get a 90 kW tariff.
E-car owners have 3 payment levels to choose from:
- Standard rate (Payment per use, no subscription) – RM20 / 5 min.
- Gold member (1 year subscription) – RM12 / 5 min. For the first 25 min. And RM5 / 5 min. Thereafter. (Applies to the first 10 hours of the year.)
- Platinum member (3-year subscription, free when purchasing a Porsche Taycan) – RM10 / 5 min. For the first 25 min. And RM5 / 5 min. Afterwards. (Applies to the first 12 hours of the year.)
Each tier comes with a confirmation fee of RM4 and offers different discounts and additional benefits. More information can be found here.
Bookings and payments are made via the ParkEasy app. Once a reservation has been confirmed, the parking space with charging station will be kept free for you up to one hour before your arrival.
Yet the feelings of Malaysian EV owners seem lukewarm
When I checked out a local FB group for EV enthusiasts and owners, MyEVOC, I was surprised that their overall reaction to this news was rather "meh".
(To be clear, this group does not represent the entire population of Malaysian EV owners, but it does give us some insight into what the community thinks about this HPC network.)
And why? Well, there seem to be a couple of reasons. Most of the times I've seen the prices quoted by Shell being viewed as high.
Mainly because owners are charged at 5 minute intervals (also called time to charge your electric vehicle) instead of per kW, which is preferred by some owners.
Tangkak train station / Photo credit: Shell
The basis for this argument lies in the fact that every electric vehicle has its own charging curve. For those unfamiliar with the jargon, a charging curve basically refers to how the charging rate of an electric vehicle changes over time.
When an electric vehicle becomes full, it charges more slowly. With an electric vehicle with a battery capacity of just over 10%, it can juice up quickly and take advantage of Shell's full 180 kW rate.
However, once it hits the 50% or more range, that rate can slow down, meaning it no longer benefits from the 180 kW rate. All of these percentages depend on your EV model.
Until then, an owner will simply pay too much for less kW to keep their electric vehicle charged as it will be charged based on the amount of time they spend on the grid.
In addition, it is assumed that the electric vehicle model in question can consume 180 kW of charging power at all, as some older models limit their charging consumption to significantly lower kW.
The last time we asked a few EV owners about their own trips to switching from gasoline, they said charging stations (or lack of them) weren't a big problem.
However, not every owner may come with their own portable chargers (which require a 3-pin wall socket to function). So in a pinch, Shell's HPC network would still be out for a juice shop.
- Learn more about Shell Recharge HPC here.
- Read more EV content here.
Featured image source: Shell