BMW Malaysia: Exciting times for EV in the next 6 - 8 months but gov needs to speed up
Hans · Sep 23, 2021 11:37 AM
Malaysians can look forward to a rapid succession of new EV model launches and EV-related services from BMW Malaysia within the next 6 to 8 months, said the company’s spokesperson in an virtual preview yesterday for the company’s upcoming BMW iX and BMW i4.
Beyond just launching new EV models, BMW Malaysia’s efforts to promote low carbon mobility will be a holistic one as the company will also look into the circular economy aspects, covering the end-to-end lifecyle of its vehicles - from production, to use, and finally recycling when the vehicle reaches the end of its lifecycle.
“It is a very exciting time for BMW i in Malaysia over the next 6 to 8 months,” said Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications for BMW Group Malaysia, who added that BMW has big plans to roll out not just more EV models, but also partnerships with various stakeholders to support green mobility, and that these plans will be announced as soon as they are finalized.
“Rest assured in the next 6 to 8 months, BMW i is going to be abuzz,” he added.
Sashi also said that response for the company’s fully electric BMW iX has been tremendously good.
“We actually hit 100 (pre-orders) within the week, so that was actually quite a nice surprise, but we actually have a lot more coming up, not just the product, but infrastructure as well. We will be in touch as soon as we have confirmed all that and are ready to communicate with that. But above and beyond that, in the whole area of BMW i and the whole idea of the circular economy system, we are trying a lot of new things with BMW i in Malaysia,” he told the press yesterday.
Circular economy, as opposed to the traditional linear economy, refers to commercial products that are 100 percent completely reusable / recyclable. The company has since launched its Re:BMW Circular Lab communication platform – TED Talk-like platform focusing on sustainability-related topics.
The i Vision Circular, presented at the recent 2021 IAA Munich Auto Show, is a concept car developed around the principles of circular economy, which implies building a car with as little material as possible.
For industrial companies, strictly adhering to the the principles of circular economy is extremely difficult and to date, BMW is the only car company taking on this challenge.
Also, BMW Group Malaysia is also the only car company in Malaysia that looks into the recycling of high voltage batteries used by its hybrid and electric models. The company partners with Korea's SungEel HiTech to recycle these discarded batteries in Penang.
On Malaysia’s Low Carbon Mobility blueprint that was supposed to be announced in July but has been delayed since, the BMW spokesperson said the bluepint is a very progressive effort by the Malaysian government, as this is the first time the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has sat down with the Minister of Environment and Water, Ministry of Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to formulate a new policy.
“The blueprint will help all the players in the industry, not just the car industry but also the infrastructure players. And I think the government needs to speed up on that, because a lot of the government agencies and a lot of other energy companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and something like this will be quite beneficial for them, as well as the public at large, to help speed up the process for the infrastructure (rollout)," said Sashi.
BMW Malaysia also reiterated its earlier announcement that all its dealers will be turned into charging hubs (with DC fast chargers, open to all makes of EVs).
Its partnership with GreenTech and Shell’s ReCharge program will also continue but the company said that moving forward, it will introduce even more partners and plans for this area.
The BMW iX is currently open for pre-booking in Malaysia. Two variants are available, prices range from RM 435,800 for the entry xDrive40 variant and RM 488,800 for the xDrive40 Sport. Both variants are available with the optional Power Package, which bumps the price up by around RM 5k.
The Power Package consists of the BMW i Public Charging Cable and BMW i Wallbox that will be installed in customers’ home.
The all-wheel drive, two-motor, X5-sized electric SUV makes 326 PS / 630 Nm. With a 76.6 kWh battery pack, the BMW iX has a range of 425 km (WLTP cycle).
It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, with a top speed of 200 km/h.
The more powerful xDrive50 variant will also be introduced in Malaysia later. That variant makes 523 PS / 765 Nm, and has a 630 km driving range.
Apart from electric SUVs, BMW Malaysia has also confirmed that the BMW i4, a sportier, coupe-style product from BMW i that focuses more on driver engagement, will be also be launched here in the near future.