7 EV SUVs launching in Malaysia in 2023: Toyota bZ4X, Smart #1, VW ID.4, and more

Part two of our three-parter on SUVs coming to Malaysia in 2023 revolves around electric vehicles (EVs). Last week we talked about regular, pure-ICE models, and if that's more your swing here's the link.

Plug in your chargers, we're going in...


European-market iX1 xDrive30 M Sport pictured

The missing link in BMW's i electrified range in Malaysia, the iX1 made its global debut alongside the all-new BMW X1 in June this year.

Considering the BMW electric range is pretty complete here, expecting it to be sold on our shores isn't too far-fetched.

Regular iX1 xDrive 30, sans M Sport enhancements

Powering the BMW iX1 xDrive30 is a pair of electric motors, one motor at the front axle and another at the rear. The duo of electric motors in the BMW iX1 xDrive30 develop 200 kW, or up to 230 kW (313 PS) with the temporary boost function. Maximum torque is rated at 494 Nm.

Also read: 2023 BMW iX1 EV SUV debuts alongside all-new X1 - With 313PS/494Nm and e-AWD

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 is capable of AC charging at a rate of up to 11 kW, which can be optionally increased to up to 22 kW (with three-phase AC). With DC fast-charging, the iX1 can be recharged at a rate of up to 130 kW.

Thus the 64.7 kWh battery can be fully recharged from empty in 6.5 hours, or from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in just 29 minutes.

Fully charged, the iX1 is claimed to offer a total range of up to 438 km (measured using the WLTP cycle).

Lexus UX 300e

Already on sale in Thailand and Indonesia, the Lexus UX300e is one of the BEVs on its way here in 2023.

Certain variants in other markets get these funky seats, you like?

For the Indonesian market, it's imported (CBU) from Japan, and like everything else Lexus sells here we can expect a similar arrangement. The fully electric, front-wheel drive Lexus UX 300e is powered by a 203 PS / 300 Nm motor.

Also read: New 2023 Lexus UX 300e - now with 72.8 kWh battery, 40 percent longer range, improved chassis

Power comes from a 72.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (updated last year), which is good for a 450 km range on the WLTP cycle. At its peak 50 kW DC charging, it takes just 50 minutes to charge it to 80% from a flat battery.

First revealed in 2021, the Nissan Ariya is available with 2WD or AWD (e-4ORCE) powertrains featuring single or dual motors respectively, and two battery options.

The smaller 65 kWh offers a maximum range of 450 km (2WD) whereas the larger 90 kWh battery can offer up to 610 km of range on the 2WD model. The AWD models typically offer 20-30 km less depending on the variant.

Also read: Nissan Ariya EV coming to Malaysia? ETCM ad teases possible 2022 launch

Using 130 kW DC fast charging, the Ariya can recover up to 375 km of range with a 30-minute quick charge using Japan's CHAdeMO format socket. Maximum AC charging is rated at 7.2kW.

Peugeot e-2008

Based on the regular 2008 (which we like very much), the Peugeot e-2008 makes 136 PS and 260 Nm, powered by a 50 kWh battery pack. 

Under the WLTP test cycle, Peugeot claims that the e-2008 offers a range of up to 345 km; higher than Mazda MX-30 and Hyundai Kona (e-Lite and e-Plus).

Speaking of charging, the Peugeot e-2008 features a CCS Type 2 connector that supports up to 100 kW of DC fast charging. 30 minutes of fast charging brings the battery up to 80-percent capacity.

Also read: Review: 2022 Peugeot 2008 – HR-V/Corolla Cross too common? This is the solution

If a DC fast charger isn’t available, trickle charging using the 7.4 kW single-phase wallbox takes 8 hours to full charge the e-2008.

Smart #1

Set to be the first EV to be sold by Proton Edar, the Smart #1 is the (first) result of the Geely-Mercedes Benz venture. And yes, its name is pronounced Hashtag One.

This part-hatchback, part-SUV model is developed on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, much like the Zeekr 001 and Geely Radar RD6.

All three variants of the Smart #1 are powered by an electric motor mounted on the rear axle, capable of delivering 272 PS and 343 Nm. The rear-mounted electric motor is juiced by a 66 kWh battery pack.

Range on a full charge ranges between 535 km to 560 km, depending on variant.

Also read: Smart: Proton to be centre of brand's EV strategy for SEA, one new model every year until 2024

Charging the Smart #1 is done via its CCS Combo 2-type charging connector, which supports up to 22 kW AC charging and DC charging up to 150 kW.

It takes 7.5 hours to charge from 5 percent to 80 percent state of charge, while fast charging takes less than 30 minutes for a similar state of charge.

Toyota bZ4X

The big T's first crack at a BEV model smartly takes the form of an SUV, and earlier in November it made its debut in two of our neighbouring countries; Thailand and Indonesia, in the same week.

Both markets only offer one variant of the bZ4X but with different layouts entirely. The Thai-spec bZ4X is only offered with a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration while the single-motor, front-wheel-drive (FWD) version is the only variant offered in Indonesia.

Also read: Toyota bZ4X sold out in Thailand in just 1 hour; price equals to RM 235k, no problem

The FWD bZ4X’s single motor produces 204 PS and 266 Nm while the AWD variant’s dual motors make a combined output of 218 PS and 337 Nm. Both variants are juiced up by a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a range of 500 km for the FWD and 411 km for the AWD.

Regardless, both variants support both AC charging of up to 6.6 kW via a Type 2 port and fast-charging DC of up to 150 kW via a CCS2 port.

Though its arrival in Malaysia is pretty much a done deal (UMWT's HQ already has fast chargers installed), exactly which variant and at what price points are still yet unknown. A matter of time...


Out of all the models in this list, the Volkswagen ID.4 is the most tangible; Malaysians got to look at it in a preview event a couple of months back, plus we already have its preliminary specifications.

Ours will be available in the sole Pro Performance variant, though pricing is yet to be set. The numbers are good – a rear-mounted motor 204 PS/310 Nm propels the SUV to 100 km/h from nought in 8.5 seconds.

Also read: Specs confirmed: Volkswagen ID.4 EV previewed in Malaysia, full ADAS, 204 PS/310 Nm, 519 km

A 77 kWh battery pack packs enough juice to run the car for 519 km (WLTP), and it accepts up to 11 kW AC charging, while DC fast charging is rated at 125 kW, which takes about 38 minutes to get from 5 to 80 percent state of charge (SoC).

That's part 2, next up, luxury SUVs

Watch this get more common next year

And there's your list of the upcoming EV SUVs in Malaysia. By no means this is an exhaustive list – we might get a few surprises along 2023 – but as far as we can look into our crystal ball this year, this is it.

Part one of this 'SUVs coming to Malaysia' series covered majoritively-affordable, pure-ICE models (linked below), part two are these upcoming EVs, and next week, part three, will centre around luxury models.

Also read: SUVs coming to Malaysia in 2023; from Omoda 5, to the new CR-V, and all the way to the Proton X90

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