COMOS EV car-sharing program to launch in August – rent a Twizy, Zoe or Leaf in KL, by the hour

Caroline Pelaez-Hue - 08/09/14

Beginning from August, Klang Valley residents will be able to rent electric vehicles on an hourly basis thanks to the country’s first EV car sharing program, called Cohesive Mobility Solution (COMOS). Three models will be available: the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Renault Twizy.

The initiative, which is also the first of its kind in the ASEAN region, is a private/public partnership between CMS Consortium, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia). Private company CMS Consortium operates under the care of NADI Manufacturing, which is controlled by Proton’s ex-chairman Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh. Ex-Proton MD Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin, meanwhile, is COMOS’ executive chairman.

At the beginning, a total of 30-40 EV units will be made available in KL. In November, operation is set to expand to Langkawi, with around 25 EVs. As for public charging stations, 60 locations will be introduced in line with the program’s introduction this year. The network will make its way to Penang, Melaka and Johor Bahru as the phases unfold. Eventually, the aim is have 3,500 EVs in the COMOS loop nationwide by 2020. Travelling beyond the range scope of a single charge will also be a possibility – there are plans to have EV charging stations at every R&R along the North-South highway by the fifth year of the program.

In essence, COMOS is set to provide a complete run of E-Mobility services by integrating various parts of the EV ecosystem, including EV users, charging providers, fleet/parking management operators and telecommunication network associates. Initial capital for the project is RM5-7 million.

COMOS is an open system, which means that any OEM can participate in the program, subject to meeting COMOS’ standard requirements – the three vehicles in the first phase of the program aren’t likely to be the only models equipping the fleet down the line.

A quick aside on the topic of parking space, which is a likely issue to develop in downtown KL – Syed Zainal said that the project was working with DBKL on that particular element; the idea is that every car should have double that number in terms of parking spaces, so for starters there should be 120 plots for the initial phase of the program. Current EV owners will be able to utilize the charging stations; they’ll have to sign up for a COMOS membership and pay for charging, of course.

Concerning the rental process: first, you’ll have to sign up as a COMOS member (you can choose to go annual, or weekly, for membership), and in order to rent an EV, you’ll simply need to make a booking for it online through a mobile app. A grace period of around 20-30 minutes will be given for the reservation, at which point no one else can book the selected vehicle. Once at the particular COMOS station, the user simply ‘checks in’ to pick up the key for the vehicle, before proceeding to tap a fleet card or scan a QR code on the Master Kiosk for authentication, after which one is good to go. The EV can be returned at any COMOS outlet, parked back at an appropriate EV parking bay and lined back to recharge.

The rental rate is a ‘pay as you use’ type, working on an hourly basis. According to Syed Zainal, there’s no limit to how long you can choose to hold on to a vehicle. As for the hourly rate itself, he didn’t disclose the final sum, only saying that it would be “affordable, a little more than what it would cost you for a taxi.” The actual rate is set to be announced before the programme begins (sometime next month, it was said), and further details on the rental process and scope will also be fleshed out further.

 

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