Chinese EVs seem to be the answer to mass adoption of electric vehicles in Malaysia – but which models will be coming to Malaysia?
Thanks to some government initiatives and tax breaks, the EV revolution in Malaysia is well and truly underway. With the likes of Porsche, BMW, and Volvo selling their EVs in our market, one wouldn’t be wrong to think that, for the moment, EVs are for those who have a bit more cushioning when it comes to their wallet – as many of them are priced above RM250,000.
Well, what about us lot? You know, the ordinary people – don’t we deserve a slice of the electric vehicle pie? Of course, some might say that the offerings from Hyundai and Nissan are the ordinary people’s way into EV ownership, but saying that the cheapest EV you can buy from the aforementioned automakers is the base Kona Electric, the e-Lite coming in at RM150k.
While some might say that it is already quite affordable for an EV, it still doesn’t encourage mass adoption of EVs, which will truly change how EVs are perceived in our country.
Of course, when it comes to value, there’s just no way of beating the Chinese, and thanks to our acceptance of Chinese vehicles by way of Proton – perhaps Chinese EVs are the answer to bring EVs to many more Malaysian homes.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of these Chinese EV offerings, especially ones that are already here or will be here shortly.
1. Changan Eado EV460
Local company Fieldman EV Sdn Bhd (FEV) will invest about RM1 Billion to bring in electric cars and build them in Malaysia (CKD), thanks to their plant in the Elkay Industrial area, Lipat Kajang, Jasin, Melaka.
The company has successfully secured the Southeast Asian exclusive distribution rights for China’s Changan Automobile Corporation, which should see the Eado EV460 built and sold on our shores soon.
Why the Eado EV460? Well, this was the car that was presented to the Melaka state government during the introduction of FEV’s plans. According to Changan Automobile Corporation, the Eado EV460 is a fully electric sedan with a battery range of up to 550 km in continuous driving or 460 km in mixed conditions. Regular AC charging takes eight hours to get the battery full, while DC fast charging takes the car from 0% to 80% in about 50 minutes.
2. Chery EQ1
It’s no secret that Chery is making a comeback in Malaysia, and while they will be mainly concentrating on their SUVs, they have indicated that they will look into introducing their cute little EV, the EQ1.
An international spokesman for the company based in Wuhu, Anhui Province, told the media that they are keen to reap the benefits of tax incentives for electric vehicles under the 2022 Budget.
In China, the Chery EQ1 is known as the ‘little ant’ and is a champion in sales in the BEV micro-segment. The EQ1 is priced at 60,000 to 70,000 yuan (RM39,839 to RM46,479) in China.
This small two-door car offers four seats, a 55kW electric motor that can accelerate to 50km/h in 5 seconds, and a top speed of 120 km/h. EQ1 is offered in two variants, with one being able to do 301km and the other 408km.
3. Great Wall Motors Ora Good Cat
The sighting of the Ora Haomao or Good Cat in March 2021 in the Klang Valley begged the question of whether this premium-ish compact Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is destined for Malaysia.
Well, In December 2021, it was officially previewed at the Bumiputera Development Action 2030 convention, and as they say, the rest is history.
Due to be officially unveiled sometime this year (it was supposed to be unveiled in Q1, but we’ve just passed that), the Ora Good Cat will be distributed by Go Auto, the same people that brought you the Haval SUVs.
Based on the ‘GWM Lemon’ platform, the car features a front-wheel-drive layout with its single 145PS and 210Nm electric motor sitting above the front axle. Supplying charge is a lithium-ion battery, with capacities of either 47.8 kWh or 59.1 kWh depending on the market.
The latter can power the car for up to 500km in between recharging, even the smaller 47.8 kWh battery is claimed to offer a substantial 400km range. In addition to slower AC charging, a recharge time of 80% in under 30 minutes is claimed to be possible when plugged into a DC fast charger.
Besides that, the Good Cat offers a rather stylish and premium interior, which highlights a dual-screen infotainment and digital instrument cluster combo similar to the Mercedes-Benz MBUX system and a central rotary drive controller. The interior looks pretty plush too, with hints of premium-ish switchgear and upholstery detailing.
4. Seiyong S1
Around the same time as the first sighting of the Ora Good Cat, Ho Wah Genting Bhd announced that they planned to introduce their first full-electric vehicle from Seiyong Motor for the Malaysian market.
For those who don’t know, the Seiyong S1 was introduced for the first time in December 2019. Better known as the Little Bee, this EV is a hatchback capable of reaching 302 km on a single full charge.
Based on the specifications of this model in the Chinese market, this car is equipped with a 31.9 kWh lithium battery that only takes 40-50 minutes to reach a battery capacity of up to 80% using a fast charger. On the other hand, if you use a regular charger, you need 10 hours to reach full charge.
However, at this time, there is still no further information on the S1’s specifications for Malaysia, and things have gone a bit quiet regarding the vehicle. Apparently, Ho Wah Genting Bhd has some problems with one of its main investors, Malton. The developer famous for its Pavillion shopping malls has chosen not to elaborate on why it chose not to proceed with the investment. Still, it doesn’t mean that Ho Wah Genting Bhd is not continuing with the project, we’ll just have to wait and see.