Auto man promotes use of electric vehicle


Chan charging his car from the normal power plug outlet.

AFTER rescuing countless motorists in Penang whose vehicles broke down over the last 15 years, tow truck company owner Chan Kok Hoe has seen many different ways of cars failing.

This was why, after he tried out several electric vehicles (EVs), he was hooked.

Chan, 46, has since produced dozens of videos on social media to share his rides and debunk myths about using EVs.

“Conventional cars have engines that are made up of many mechanical parts and a sophisticated drivetrain.

“I service my EV once every 20,000km, and its just for inspections, software updates and filter changes, all costing just slightly over RM200 each time.

“Depending on the brands, some only require their vehicles to be serviced after two years.

“Once you go EV, you cannot go back,” he said.

He waxed lyrical about the host of sensors and cameras to assist in driving, to the point of the car being able to park itself and reduce the risk of collisions.

“Such capabilities, coupled with powerful electric motors on wheels, provide more responsive driving, quicker acceleration and better driving confidence,” he said.

Chan added that he had never towed an EV due to a break down apart from them running out of battery.

“Hence, the use of EVs requires some planning ahead of long journeys and is more suited for urban use at this time,” he said.

Power-wise, he was happy to see that when the EV was stuck in traffic, it consumed minuscule amounts of power.

“When the car is idle, it is silent and takes up only 2% of battery power per hour,” he said.

“I enjoy driving it when I am caught in traffic because it saves a lot of power.”

If all those tech frills for driving aid and in-car entertainment are too complicated for some users, Chan said there were now basic models in the market priced at about RM80,000.

Among the biggest advantages of owning an EV would be cost savings, added Chan.

“I travel a lot within the state, living in Juru and sending my children to school on the island, as far as Tanjung Bungah, every day.

“In the past, for me, petrol consumption came up to RM700 every month.

“Instead of buying a new house on the island to reduce driving distance, I bought an electric car. So far, I’m able to save about RM500 monthly in fuel costs,” he said.

“Many places provide free charging for EVs, but if I do need to pay a premium price for fast charging, it comes up to about RM1.20 per minute of use.

“An ordinary electric car takes about an hour to charge fully, they’re still cheaper than refilling a full tank of petrol,” he said.

Chan said in ordinary use within an urban area, he was content with the cost savings.

“The use of EVs is still new as its in its early stages here with a relatively small market, but their growing use will increase the number of charging stations available.

“Some EVs have been rated to be able to travel up to 580km per charge, so there is no need to charge regularly.

“Contrary to perceptions that pumping petrol is faster than charging an EV, I now find that going to a petrol station is a waste of time as I just need to leave my car to recharge overnight at home,” he said.

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