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5 must-have apps if you are driving an electric vehicle into Malaysia

5 must-have apps if you are driving an electric vehicle into Malaysia
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

Planning a trip to Johor or KL once the Singapore-Malaysia borders open? If you are driving an electric vehicle, here are five apps you can download to help you find charging stations in Malaysia.

Unlike Singapore, Malaysia's EV infrastructure is considerably lacking. In fact, there are only 500 AC charging stations and nine public DC fast-charging stations publicly available at the moment.

Range anxiety will definitely be a thing for EV owners due to unfamiliarity with the area or the lack of accessible options.

Fret not though, as we have compiled a list of apps to help you locate charging stations within Malaysia. Although they might not be entirely perfect, they could save you skin in a pinch.

A Better Routeplanner (ABRP)

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ABRP is a multipurpose app for all your EV needs. To use, simply select the make and model of your EV and input your destination and current battery level.

ABRP will then highlight the fastest route to your destination and display the estimated battery usage upon arrival.

If a charge is required, it will pinpoint charging stations along your route, thus minimising any unnecessary stops or detours.

Besides displaying the number of lots and types of charges available, the app can even predict how long it would take to fully charge your vehicle.

If you need to grab a quick bite or a place to stay, it can even search for nearby amenities such as lodging or restaurants.

However, do note that ABRP does not display charging rates, nor does it have any means for you to make payment for charging.

ABRP is free for download on both Google Play and the App Store.


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PHOTO: chargEV

chargEV is Malaysia's largest public charging network with over 300 charging points available nationwide.

Using the app is fairly simple - just search for a location and it will pinpoint all the charging stations available within the area.

If you require directions to one of its charging stations, just tap on the hyperlink to open Google Maps. Other information displayed on the app includes lot availability and opening hours (most of the charging lots are located within shopping malls).

Do note that only chargeEV lots are shown on the app and you would need to purchase a chargeEV charging card (RM240 [S$78]/year) in order to use their chargers for free. EV owners would also need to own a compatible charging cable as these are not provided at the charging stations.

Lastly, chargeEV is only compatible with a handful of selected brands.

They are BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, MINI, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. Click here to view the full list.

chargeEV is available on both Google Play and the App Store.


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Similar to chargeEV, JOMCharge is an app that lets you search for charging stations within a certain area.

However, unlike the former, your search will also pinpoint charging stations owned by other operators.

If you would like to use the chargers under their brand, an account has to be created. Payment can also be made conveniently through the app.

Unfortunately, these are the only merits that the app has.

With only 23 JOMCharge chargers available, EV owners will certainly find their options limited.

However, if you need an app to find charging lots within a certain vicinity, it will certainly get the job done.

Payment has to be made through credit card and it will even notify users when their charging is complete.

You may download JOMCharge on Google Play and the App Store.


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PHOTO: ParkEasy

If you are travelling to Kuala Lumpur, ParkEasy is an app that you should certainly download. It is an app that allows you to reserve parking lots with EV charging.

To use, simply reserve your lot and navigate your way to the location within the hour. Upon reaching, you should see a remote barrier that prevents others from taking your lot. Next, just use the app to unlock the barrier and park your vehicle.

ParkEasy uses a credits system to pay for parking and charging fees, which you can review after you are done using its facilities.

Parking and charging fees vary according to the location, and you may even use it to reserve charging lots under Shell Recharge and chargeEV.

As mentioned earlier, this app mainly caters to those driving to KL. For areas outside of KL, you would probably need to use another app.

Get it now on Google Play or the App Store.


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PHOTO: PlugShare

PlugShare is an app that will serve you well in both Malaysia and Singapore. Think of it as a Google Maps for EV charging.

Using it is fairly simple as well. Just enter your destination and it will highlight all the charging stations within the area.

Upon selecting a charging station, you will be shown the number of charging lots available, the types of chargers, charging rates, membership requirements, and even nearby amenities.

Another useful feature is the ability to Check-In to each location, allowing you to save it for future reference.

Users can even submit photos of the charging lots, allowing you to gauge if the area is well-light or populated (some parts of Malaysia can be rather sketchy).

Overall, PlugShare seems to be the most versatile of all apps on this list if you are desperately searching for an EV charger.

Download it now on Google Play or the App Store.

Charged and ready!

An anxiety-free trip would be almost guaranteed with these five apps at your fingertips. Just ensure you plan ahead and factor in your battery life before a long-distance trip.

Ultimately, you should find an app that best suits your needs as a driver.

Lastly, don't forget to reinstate your insurance cover for travelling to Malaysia when the borders eventually open. 

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