EV charging bays need specialist installation


Power up: EV owner Aaron Chng charging his electric vehicle at the charging station located on Level Six of Gurney Plaza multi-level carpark in Gurney Drive, Penang. —ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

PETALING JAYA: There must be enforcement to ensure that the electric vehicle charging system (EVCS) at charging bays and even in homes comply with safety regulations as sales of electric vehicles (EVs) pick up, say experts.

Federation of Malaysia Electric Vehicle Associations president Datuk Seri Jason Lee said this would prevent untoward incidents.

“Those who install alternating current (AC) may not necessarily know how to install EV AC chargers.

“Every brand of charger has a different wiring, so only competent people should handle them.

“The charger itself must be certified by Sirim Bhd and the Energy Commission.

“Whoever is doing the AC or direct current (DC) installation should also be verified by the Energy Commission to ensure the engineers are certified as this involves very high voltage power,” he said in an interview.

Lee was responding to an incident in Johor involving a car at an unlicensed EVCS that caught fire on Dec 31.

On the lack of qualified people to maintain and install EVCS in the country, he said the Energy Commission should be leading by having certification courses for wireman electricians to install AC, DC, and AC home chargers.

Category A for commercial DC, Category B for commercial AC and Category C for home AC.

“One needs to know the procedure and the output for the installation even if one is doing so at home.

“This also applies to those installing air-conditioning units and water heaters.

“In terms of enforcement, the Local Government Development Ministry should also look at EVCS bays with people parking indiscriminately and the installation for charging bays at private parking lots in high-rise accommodations.

“This issue involves joint management body or committee regulations,” he said.

EV enthusiast Farhan Abdul Rahim said while enforcement is essential, there are also delays with getting approvals from the Energy Commission.

“So the situation is that the chargers have been installed but they are unable to operate, because approval from the Energy Commission takes a long time... We are asking if something can be done about this.

“As for the lack of people, we need to understand what is meant by ‘competent.’ The NOSS (National Occupational Skills Standard) is not the only measure of competency.

“If NOSS is the only measure, you will only get one qualified person, as it was only recently introduced.

“The question is why it took the Human Resources Ministry this long to get NOSS in place,” he added.

Farhan also said most members of the charging point operator (CPO) team have the relevant certification in handling high-voltage systems.

An EV CPO is a company responsible for installing and maintaining EV charging stations, as well as providing charging services to EV owners.

These charging stations can be found in a variety of locations such as public car parks, shopping centres and service stations.

On Thursday, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said Malaysia, which has attracted leading American multinational Tesla to set up its regional headquarters here last year, plans to woo more companie to set up assembly plants in the country.

Last month, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia had seen exponential growth in EV sales yearly and the government is optimistic the positive momentum would continue strongly, with more than 100,000 registered EVs recorded.

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