AC Vs DC Charging: How to Charge Your EV in Malaysia

2022 saw a steady stream of new electric vehicles (EVs) introduced in Malaysia including the Hyundai Ioniq, Kia EV6, and GWM Ora Good Cat, just to name a few. While EVs were historically very expensive, these cars were actually very reasonably priced, largely thanks to the exemption of duties and other incentives for EVs announced for Budget 2022.

As a result, we can expect the adoption of EVs to ramp up in the next few years. And with more EVs on the road, there’s also a need for better EV charging solutions in Malaysia beyond shopping mall parking lot chargers. That being said, do you know how to charge an electric car and what are the types of charging stations available in the country?

EV Charging Station

AC vs DC Charging for Your EV

Most of us know that the electricity supplied from the grid to our homes is in alternating current (AC). AC is used as it’s cheaper to generate, suffers less energy loss than direct current (DC), and can be easily stepped up or down with the use of transformers. Yet, in the case of EVs, there are two charging methods at our disposal – AC and DC charging. So, which EV charging option is better?

How AC Charging Works

  • The AC charger (wallbox) can be installed at home and in communal spaces like in apartment parking lots. It’s the preferred type of EV charger for electric car owners as it’s cheap and easy to install.
  • It sends AC power from the grid directly to your EV.
  • Your car’s onboard current converter converts the AC power from the wall outlet to DC to charge the batteries.
  • AC charging is less demanding on the grid but has a slower charging rate and typically takes eight hours to charge your car batteries to 80 percent.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know about Hybrid CarsAC vs DC charging graphics

Image source: wallbox.com

How DC Charging Works

 

  • DC chargers, also called fast chargers, convert AC from the grid to DC before it enters the vehicle. This means the power directly enters the battery, bypassing the car’s converter.
  • It uses a more robust system to convert the power to DC and is therefore much larger than an AC wallbox.
  • A DC charger can send more power into the car and charge your EV battery to 80 percent in a much shorter time than an AC charger.
  • This also means it’s more expensive to install and operate, which is why EV charging operators usually charge users by the minute.
  • With their cost and size, DC chargers are more suited for highway rest stops where faster charging can help travelers charge their cars quickly.

Here are the differences between AC and DC charging summed up.

AC Charger DC Charger
Alternating Current Type Direct
Type 2 Port type CCS2
Done by the car’s converter Conversion to DC Happens in-charger
Up to 22kW Max Charging Rate (in 2022) Up to 360kW
7 to 15 hours Typical charging time (from 0 to 80 percent) Less than 1 hour
Cheap (depends on your home electricity tariff) Charging Cost Expensive (depends on the charging station rate per minute)
Home Ideal for Dedicated fast-charge stations in public

The EV Charging Situation in Malaysia

Owning an EV requires you to plan your charging diligently and incorporate it into your lifestyle. Since charging an EV at home takes hours, it’s much easier to own one when you’re living in a landed property as opposed to a high-rise. 

Charging an EV car

While the number of EV charging stations in Malaysian apartments and condominiums is still very limited, more and more property developers are beginning to include charging stations in the parking and common areas. So, what are the EV charging solutions available to us?

Home Chargers

Charger Type AC Wallbox.
Setup Cost Paid for by the homeowner, can be included in the cost of purchasing the car. Apartment developers may also set up chargers on their property for the residents.
Location Installed in the owner’s home, or some developers may install in the apartment common areas.
Usage Cost According to TNB electricity bill charges.
Charging Rate Consistent.
Charge Time Predictable but slow.
Convenience Yes, you can just plug your car in and not worry about taking up others’ space. Most EV owners charge their cars overnight at home.

Public Chargers

Charger Type Both AC and DC chargers are available.
Setup Cost Set up by EV charging service providers such as ParkEasy, ChargEV, and JomCharge. Some luxury car manufacturers have also sponsored these charging stations.
Location Most public chargers are found in developed, affluent areas, while paid DC chargers are found in some shopping malls and along highway rest stops.
Usage Cost Charged per hour or minute and can vary depending on the service provider.
Charging Rate Not set – each charging station has its own rate which can vary greatly
Charge Time Fast but not as predictable as charging at home
Convenience Not in 2022 – there are still very limited public charging stations in Malaysia.

How do We Handle EV Charging in Malaysia?

Until a fully fleshed-out nationwide electric vehicle charging solution is implemented and the charging network sufficiently mature, pre-planning is at the core of every EV owner’s daily motoring routine. 

To counter ‘range anxiety’ among EV owners, automakers have been trying to squeeze in bigger and bigger batteries into their EVs, which inevitably increases cost.

Solutions to Drive EV Adoption

Although battery technology will no doubt improve, bringing the cost down, the future of EV adoption in Malaysia won’t necessarily be won by cars capable of traveling further on a single charge, but by providing ample EV AC charging facilities, especially in urban areas. 

That said, DC charging stations will also play a major role for long-distance travelers on the highway. For a heftier by-the-minute fee, they essentially allow EV users to quickly replenish their car’s battery in about the same time as a bathroom break and a cup of coffee, making them perfect for highway rest areas. 

So, are you ready for the EV life? Or are you going to give it a few more years for the EV charging infrastructure in Malaysia to improve?

This article was originally published on carlist.my and has been adapted by CARSOME.