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Solutions for tomorrow: Why should real estate developers think about EVs?

As a real estate developer, why should you care about electric vehicles (EVs)?

After all, Malaysia has not seen the surge in ownership that we have seen in other nations.

Here, EVs made up only 1.27% of car sales in 2023. We are far behind the leaders, especially Sweden and Norway, where in 2023, EV sales made up 60% and 95% of all new vehicles sales, respectively. Norwegians have favoured EVs over fossil fuel-run vehicles since 2019 and by January of this year, EVs made up 93.9% of all new car sales.

While European countries as well as the US had a head start, some of our neighbours have also gathered speed. Last year in Thailand, 12% of car sales were EVs and 18.1% of vehicles sold in Singapore were electric.

Yet, you do care. In fact, you are paying very close attention. That’s because, as a real estate developer, you look at the lives and future of your customers, striving to meet the evolving requirements and desires, including a cooler (in both senses of the world), more sustainable lifestyle.
 

Ruling in favour of a cleaner tomorrow

Malaysia has recently seen a boost in support for EV-friendly spaces. Critically, this support is coming from segments vital to your success, from individual homeowners, to commercial businesses, to the government.

Malaysia’s National Energy Transition Roadmap includes updating infrastructure to support EV adoption. It includes 10,000 charging stations by 2025 to support 100,000 EVs on our roads by 2030.

Developers can help fulfil these goals by doing what they always do: Satisfying the requirements of the government, businesses and homeowners.
 

EV drivers as homeowners

The current pool of EV drivers in Malaysia is small but influential. They are generally high earners. They have to be because only EVs with a price tag of RM100k or more can be imported into the country. While this outs some models within reach of middle class, a good percentage of EVs on the road are luxury cars by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, Tesla and Rolls Royce. Upscale condominiums and shopping outlets are highly motivated to make their premises inviting to customers whose cars cost upwards of half a million ringgit.

Forward-thinking developers understand this and see an even bigger picture. Automakers Perodua and Proton are both set to launch locally-built EVs by next year. If, as anticipated, new models are priced under RM100k, it will make EV ownership achievable to a much larger percentage of the population. As the number of drivers grows, so will demand for EV-friendly places to live, shop and work.
 

Charging ahead

There are numerous challenges in retrofitting existing buildings, from costly rewiring to safety requirements to resistance from non-EV driving owners and tenants. Yet, overcoming these difficulties proves well-worth, as EV-friendly spaces add to an establishment’s value through convenience. Already, established shopping malls are increasing the number of charging bays in their parking lots. This trend will continue.

Being EV friendly has also been shown to raise property values. One study found that, in the US, homes with EV chargers sell faster than those without. Another found that merely being close to charging stations increases home values by up to 5.8%.
 

A few ways developers are future-proofing their projects

How many of the following are you doing?

  1. Planning to go well beyond the minimal number of charging points set out in official guidelines. They are not enough. Think of the congestion of cars outside condos that only allot one parking space per unit. What does that do for property values? Make sure your brand is recognized for fulfilling present and future needs.
  2. Considering the needs of drivers in different spaces and how charging points can add value to owners. For example, environmentally aware drivers will be drawn to a house with a charging station powered by solar panels. A mall whose visitors stay for 2-4 hours will have different needs compared to an office building where employees spend most of the day.
  3. While much has been written about electrical infrastructure for charging points, most neglect the game-changing value of ensuring these spots have reliable IoT connectivity. As we will see in the next article (follow us on Linkedin so you don’t miss it!), the most efficient and popular charging points will be those that can communicate directly with EVs.
  4. Involve engineers and architects. Charging stations are not exactly an eyesore, but nor are they particularly attractive. As modern designers are showing, it is possible to get creative with charging stations, so they contribute to the overall visual appeal of your project.

 

Building for the future

Worldwide, EV drivers are clamouring for better infrastructure and real estate developers can lead the way, adding value to their buildings by filling this growing need. In Malaysia, while a lower than 2% adoption rate feels like a long way from the government goal of 20% by 2030, it is also important to note that this number reflected a 386% jump in a single year. This monumental climb in enthusiasm will likely grow even steeper as local, more affordable models enter the market.

At Maxis, we have the right expertise and connectivity solutions you need to ensure your real estate projects are EV friendly. Discover how you can stay ahead of the competition. Talk to us to get the right partner for your business.


You too, can stay ahead of the race.


Marvin Liong, Head IoT and Mobile Solutions

About the author
Marvin Liong
Head IoT and Mobile Solutions, Maxis

Marvin possesses more than 20 years of experience in the cellular network industry. He has held leadership roles, served as a practice lead for IoT, 5G and private network, contributed to business development, engaged in technical solution pre-sales, formulated network strategies, managed cellular spectrum strategy, overseen product management, and handled network operations.

Author Profile - Marvin

About the author
Marvin Liong
Head IoT and Mobile Solutions, Maxis

Marvin possesses more than 20 years of experience in the cellular network industry. He has held leadership roles, served as a practice lead for IoT, 5G and private network, contributed to business development, engaged in technical solution pre-sales, formulated network strategies, managed cellular spectrum strategy, overseen product management, and handled network operations.

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