Highway operator PLUS Malaysia has opened its first solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the Ayer Keroh southbound R&R area on the North-South Expressway. Built in a collaboration with the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) and the United Nations Industry Development Organisation (UNIDO), the facility offers free, 100% renewable energy for charging EVs.

The system’s solar panels are rated at 20 kWp and generate between 60 to 80 kWh per day, stored in a 50 kWh automotive-grade lithium-ion battery. The station features a 50 kW CHAdeMO DC charging port (like the kind used on the previous-generation Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV) as well as a 22 kW Type 2 AC port as used by plug-in hybrids sold here.

The charging station, part of its effort to preserve the environment, has been operational since May 2018, and the company says it has received positive response from EV owners. There are discussions already underway to build more of these stations at other rest stops such as in Pagoh (southbound), Tapah (southbound), Dengkil (southbound), Gunung Semanggol (northbound) and Seremban (northbound).

“Each day, approximately 1.7 million vehicles utilise the PLUS highway. We believe that the EV charging station will offer convenience to the EV public, especially frequent highway users plying the KL-Ayer Keroh or Johor Bahru-Ayer Keroh stretch daily or during weekend or school holidays,” said PLUS managing director Datuk Azman Ismail.

GreenTech Malaysia acting CEO Tuan Syed Ahmad Syed Mustafa added, “GreenTech Malaysia is very proud with our collaboration with PLUS on the installation of the first solar powered EV charger on the PLUS highway which is a key step in further promoting the Low Carbon Mobility blueprint. With the availability of EV chargers along the highway, EV/PHEV owners can now perform interstate travel in their vehicles.”

Other green initiatives implemented by PLUS include the usage of biodegradable products at its R&R areas, including plastic bags, straws, hot and cold cups, food boxes and other utensils.