First Energy Networks today announced the launching of the country’s first two public electric vehicle charging stations in Suria KLCC and Lot 10. The announcement was made at the 3rd International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM) being held at the KLCC.

FEN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tan Chong Motor Holdings, says that the launch of the charging stations is aligned to the company’s support towards the government’s efforts to setup an EV charging infrastructure, beginning with the Bukit Bintang Pilot Program.

Located on Level P2 of Suria KLCC and the 5th floor of Lot 10, the stations each feature a dedicated bay and will offer charging facilities for EVs, be it the Nissan Leaf or models from other automakers.

The charging station at KLCC is equipped with an Elseev charger from Panasonic Electric Works, while the charging station at Lot 10 is running a Greenlots charger. Currently, the use of the facilities are free, with the stations offering Level 2 240V AC charging.

Strangely enough, all the power outlets on the Elseev chargers on display say Mode 1, which is slow charging from a regular electrical socket, meaning that juicing up a battery (from zero capacity) to full will take around six to eight hours – it’s unlikely when it rolls in that an EV will be down to almost zero operational range, so a couple of hours should provide the necessary top-up levels for most users.

By the end of the year, ratification on a defined standard and payment charges should be in place, and it is expected that the Malaysian standard for public charging systems will eventually adopt a Mode 3 approach, with 32 ampere fast charging using a specific EV multi-pin socket with control and protection functions following the IEC 62196 standard. From what we were told, 63 ampere quick charging (20-30 minutes) will not be on the setlist, primarily down to cost.

Yes, filling up an EVs battery at a public charging facility will cost the user, though just how much it will work out to and how payment is remitted remains to be seen – we’ll know when the standard is out.

Some side notes about the Elseev charger. It’s structured like a controlling board and comes with a single 200V outlet unit, though a total of four power outlet units can be mounted in its frame. The cost is around RM5,000 for one.

The EV pavilion at IGEM also saw on display the Renault Fluence ZE that was spotted on a transporter earlier in the week. The car isn’t going to be a permanent fixture or part of a Renault pilot programme here – the vehicle has been loaned for the exhibition from Singapore, and will be going back home next Tuesday. There’s a sampling of the car on Monday though, so we’ll report on it when the time comes.