The average, well to do families in Malaysia today, own two or three family cars. Do not be surprised that all three of the above cars are automatic ones. All driving schools or institutes in our country are still using manual vehicles. But that does not mean, automatic cars cannot be used.
All along, the disabled or orang kurang berupaya (OKU) can opt to use automatic cars to both learn and test in such cars. The only problem is institutes and driving schools do not possess such vehicles. The only alternative is for disabled or OKU people to purchase their own vehicles. This can be rather costly.
As early as 2011, as a matter of fact, the Road Transport Department (RTD) had announced to the public, that automatic cars were in the process of being introduced into our system of tests. Only recently, the Minister of Transport Datuk Seri, Kong Cho Har said that the department was in the final process of modifying test requirements for automatic vehicles.
It is believed that by the latest, July 2012, driving institutes and driving schools in the country, will see advent of automatic cars in their curriculum.
A driving school colleague of mine, a Mr. Chin, tells me that his institute, which is located in nearby Meru town, 6 miles from Klang town, has already taken steps to purchase a total of 4 new, automatic cars. The above cars have already been sent to the authorities, that is Puspakom, for their initial inspections. Other institutes, all across the country, I believe, are likewise taking similar arrangements in readiness when automatic cars will be introduced soon.
If you ask any 17 year old, who is getting ready to take up driving lessons shortly in which car does he prefer to do his driving tutorials, without a doubt, this instructor strongly believes, 95% of them will answer automatic!
Most students ages 30 and above, especially the female gender, hold the opinions that it is easier to learn how to drive using an automatic vehicle. Is this really so?
This 42 years experienced instructor and my close friend, Mr. Chin, however, hold the belief that things may not appear as easy as it so seems. Another question which should be raised is, will use of automatic vehicles assist in bring down the high rate of frightening accidents which the country seems to be faced with today. Anyway, let’s allow automatic vehicles to be used first and then we will know whether this belief is a truth or a fallacy!
But I would like to remind one and all, that accidents can be prevented with good discipline, obeying road rules and regulations and a host of other good qualities of driving.
A reader of this blog, a Mr. Stark, made a blunt comment recently about Malaysian drivers. He is of the opinion Malaysian drivers do not know how to drive, have no respect for other drivers, drive dangerously and thoughtlessly. I am quite agreeable to Mr. Stark’s views.
Talking about automatic vehicles, which models of cars well most likely be used?
I feel the driving institutes and instructors may most possibly opt for either the Viva or maybe MyVi. The Viva costs around RM38,000 for an auto. The MyVi is costlier around RM55,000 or so.
Some students believe learning in an auto car is easier. Therefore they believe, getting a driving license, with henceforth not be a hassle anymore.
Whether it is easier or not, one thing is for sure. Presently, driving schools charge around RM25 per hour of lessons. With automatic cars, which are costlier to purchase and maintain, price of taking up driving lessons in the near future, may cost anything from RM35 – RM40 per hour of lessons. The total cost of driving lessons lasting 10 hours is currently RM800 – RM900.
With the use of the auto, it is a rough estimate by this instructor, that the total cost for forthcoming driving lessons would be at least be well over RM1000 or so. The public should be ready to face the increase in price.
Permit me to tell you a few things which you may or may not be aware of. “P” students or probationary license holders from henceforth will be provided with a class of driving license known as DA. They will be entitled only to drive automatic vehicles. They will not be allowed to drive manual version vehicles anymore.
Students who may wish to drive vans, small lorries and bas sekolah or school buses, will therefore have to learn how to drive a manual vehicle later on. A bit of hassle, isn’t it? Besides, it might lead to one facing more expenses in the long run.
The stage is now set for the Road Transport Department to implement introducing of automatic into our driving school system. Together, we wait with bated breath its implementation. What will be the result of using automatic vehicles in our country, is left to be seen.
In my last blog post, I wrote about some facts on pure electric car or electric vehicle (EV). In this post, I thought of writing on the subject of introducing electric cars in Malaysia.
If EVs were to be introduced in Malaysia, it has to fulfill 2 criteria:
i. Has to be able to provide or travel at least 50 miles (known as Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle) and 90 miles (known as Highway) cars.
ii. And it should be available in the market within span of 3 years.
Besides the United States of America, electric cars have been reported to have been around in the United Kingdom for a good number of years already. In U.K., electric cars are provided special tax exemptions, free road tax and other special perks. Electric vehicles are therefore becoming more and more popular there.
As readers might be interested in how electric cars functions or operate, permit therefore, to allow me to illuminate to readers how an electric vehicle functions. Basically, how does an electric vehicle operate?
Electric vehicles are said to be powered by an electric motor, either A.C. or D.C. the electric car is said to drive its power from an on board battery pack acting as an “emergency store”. Normally, most electric vehicles use batteries which are “nickel metal hydride” variety or “lithium-ion” type.
The said batteries can be charged rather easily by simply connecting the vehicle to a mains power supply. It is usually charged overnight to achieve a full charge. However, most modern electric vehicles also feature a modern contraption which is known as the “regenerative braking system”. This allows a battery to be charged or “topped” up when a vehicle’s brakes are applied.
Current electric vehicles found in the U.K. are usually smaller 2 seater cars. They are not only smaller but are also lighter. 4 seater models are also being introduced into the market.
Electric cars in the U.K. presently can achieve top speeds of 25 – 40 mph. They can travel up to 40 – 100 miles range per charge. Such electric vehicles are therefore suitable and good for city driving.
Huge savings can be obtained through its usage. Traffic in general is low speed, around 25 – 45 mph as shorter distances are travelled.
Electric cars are zero emission vehicles. In general they get various tax exemptions. Electric vehicles have no need to fill up petrol. To say that electric vehicles produce no emission at all is a fallacy indeed. In fact, emission are produced during generation of electricity needed to charge the battery of a car. However, this problem can be overcome with what is called a “renewable energy supplier”.
Speaking of electric cars, mention should by rightly made regarding “green cars”, which will be available in the world market very soon. Some model of vehicles which will be available soon include:-
i. Pininfarana Nido
ii. MG Zero
iii. Audi e tron
iv. BMW Active E
v. Renault Fluence
vi. Electric Mini E
vii. Fiat 500
viii. Porche 911
ix. Nissan Nuvu
x. Tesla S
xi. VE E-up
xii. Toyota 1 Q EV
xiii. Saab 9-3 e Power
xiv. Subaru Stella
xv. Reva NXR
In the United Kingdom, one has to make a mention of the “G-Wiz”, a small, electric car that is currently crating a sensation in the U.K. The G-Wiz is said to be the best selling vehicle in the U.K. today.
The G-Wiz is said to be powered entirely by electricity. It is a small and a very nippy plus a great fun to drive vehicle. It is capable of going at 50 mph with a range of 48 miles, making it an eco friendly urban and suburban driving car.
In the U.K., the G-Wiz is given free road tax, low insurance, free parking and no congestion charge in London. Readers might wish to know the vital statistics of the G-Wiz which includes:-
i. It is 100% electric
ii. Can travel up to 48 miles range
iii. Can go up to 50 mph
iv. Recharging time 2¼(80%) to 8 hours (100%)
v. It has a 2 year full warranty
vi. Is available in 2000 colours and designs
vii. It has lead acid and lithium-ion(L-ion) battery options
Who knows the above G-Wiz, might very well be introduced into Malaysia very soon. It is hoped that Malaysians will be given the opportunity to enjoy driving the above green or electric cars soon and also enjoy all the benefits it provides.
For this to happen, the G-Wiz should first of all be imported into our country by a “franchise” holder, a large company which has the intention of promoting the use of electric cars in this country.
Besides describing about electric cars or vehicles, this article should rightly be talking about “hybrid” cars as well. Hybrid cars generally use a combination of 2 power sources.
The most common “hybrid” cars in the Malaysian market today, use both electric motors and petrol combustion engines. Batteries charge and act as a storage device to power an electric motor, which works when the vehicle is travelling a low speed or in dense traffic. It is therefore ideal for city or town driving.
The petrol engine, which is usually, a small, efficient unit then powers the car when more power is required, such as at high speeds, allowing the combustion engine to operate at its more optimum efficient speeds. A number of manufacturers have announced plans for diesel-electric hybrids. It is expected to be available as soon as 2008.
The combustion engine of a hybrid car is used to recharge the battery through regenerative braking, therefore hybrid cars need not be plugged in to an external power supply. This combination of battery power and internal combustion engine, produces less pollution and CO2, as no gases are released when the electric motor is running.
In Malaysia today, examples of hybrid cars are models from Honda motors called the Civic and the Prius from the popular Toyota motors. Both are said to cost well over RM120,000 to RM135,000.
For readers knowledge, both my brother in-law, Mr. Ooi, who owns a Honda hybrid and my son in-law, Kin, who recently bought a Toyota Prius hybrid and he was lucky to get ownership of it prior to Japan being hit by the 9.0 earthquake followed by the disastrous tsunami together.
Both Mr. Ooi and Kin are very happy with their hybrid cars so far. Should the two gentlemen were to meet again at a later date, I am quite certain that the subject of hybrid cars will still remain a hot topic on their agenda.
For over more than 2 years, this blog has been writing only or conventional cars which run on internal combustion engines. No article has yet be penned upon electric cars.
To be able to write upon the above type of cars infact, is not an easy matter. Trying to understand or comprehend how electric cars work in itself, is already a difficult task, what more, to attempt to write an article on it, is I believe something that is not easy to achieve.
Nevertheless, irregardless of whether it is difficult or otherwise, at some point or other, an attempt to write an article on electric cars has to be done sooner or later.
While other countries like the United Kingdom, the United State of America, Australia, China and other European countries have taken concrete steps to introduce electric cars into their domestic market, our country, Malaysia, appears to be taking a retrospective stance towards electric vehicles.
I hold the above opinion, as very recently, the Minister of Transport Malaysia, Datuk Kong Cho Har, announced to the general public, that steps are being taken to decide as to whether electric bicycles will be allowed to be used in Malaysia or otherwise.
From the look of things, it is very probable and likely, that electric bicycles might see its own demise in this country very soon. The general public eagerly awaits the government’s decision with bated breath on this subject.
Electric vehicles or E.V. or better known as “green vehicles” is currently extremely popular, especially in the U.S and the U.K. According to Mr. Brian Wayne, who is the president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association of America, America is preparing itself for the advert of electric cars. Mr. Wayne suggests that the world should keep an eye on China, especially where electric cars are concerned.
How in America coping with the introduction of electric vehicles readers would like to know? Infact, the country is coping well with it. In America, there is a yet another company, Southern California Edison, which is said to possess one of the largest establishments of “plug in” programmes to cater for electric vehicles.
Concerning electric vehicles, it is imperative that, we keep in view that many people consider its efficiency being measured via miles per gallon. With this in view or consideration, readers would wish to know, how is electric cars’ performance as compared to conventional fuel driven vehicles?
It is believed that it approximately costs 1/5 of the expenditure of conventional vehicles. It is believed to cost 2 – 3 U.S. cents per mile for electric cars, while conventional cars using petrol works out to 12 – 14 U.S cents.
Besides the Southern California Edison Company, another establishment in America, the Duke Energy is said to be establishing similar preparations to prepare itself for the introduction of electric vehicles into that country. They are said to possess some 3,000 utilities in the country to provide charging facilities for electric vehicles.
Experts say the introduction of electric vehicles might create a problem. The problem is none other than what is called “transformer” overloading. Should a cluster of electric vehicles, with fast charging facilities be concentrated on one area, it is said to be able to cause problems to transformers.
But establishments providing electrical supplies to electric vehicles in America are of the opinion they are aware where the above problem will occur and they believe they will be ready for it.
Besides the United States of America, it is believed that China, is also adopting a rather aggressive stance towards the introduction of electric vehicles. China it seems, look at electric cars and vehicles not only as an “economic” imperative, but also as “commercial’ opportunity for it to leap frog over the rest of the world, especially in the field of electric vehicles.
For readers’ information, China is said to currently produce more than 20 million electric bikes per year. In China today, it is said there are some 250 million electric bikes on the roads.