Can You Do A Road Trip In An Electric Vehicle From Kuala Lumpur To Singapore?

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1660841896679 Possible To Drive An Ev Kl To Singapore Featured(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Electric vehicles are often touted as the future of mobility. There’s no denying that in a world with more robust infrastructure, long-distance commutes in EVs would be the norm.

But just how realistic is attempting a long drive in an EV now? If you lived in KL but regularly make the journey down South to have rendezvous with friends and family members, can you own an EV as your only car? Or is the technology simply not mature enough for you to conveniently do so?

We weren’t sure as well, so our Singaporean colleagues and their local arm of the Audi marque (along with other automotive journalists from the little red dot) attempted such a drive to see if it was possible. You can read the article, complete with all the extra happenings, on our sister site here.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1660899216576 Fleet Of Audi E Vs

But First, What Cars Were We Using For This Road Trip?

Audi brought out three cars for this trip - an SUV, in the form of an e-tron S Sportback, and two e-tron GTs, with one being the higher spec ‘RS’ variant. According to the boffins at Ingolstadt, the cars should have an estimated range of 380, 488, and 472 kilometres respectively.

The journey was only to be 362 kilometres long. So then, it should be enough range to get from our starting point, which was Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, to the endpoint at Audi Singapore’s HQ in Kallang, Singapore.

Not so fast. See, range estimates are often set in climate-controlled laboratories, and are often far greater than what you can achieve in reality. EVs are also fairly inefficient at higher speeds, especially the single-geared e-tron S Sportback, so the quicker you go, the higher the rate of energy depletion.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1660899314478 Can Drive From Kl To Sg
Range Anxiety?

The cars were AC slow-charged overnight. All three cars had battery packs that were fully topped up, and the range estimates were healthy. Through KL’s morning traffic, the EVs were especially efficient, using regenerative braking to minimise energy losses. I spent the first leg of the journey in the SUV, and it was a joy to drive something that felt so effortless through rush hour traffic.

On open roads, the car’s pick up is consistent and strong, up till some seriously questionable speeds. The car does get a touch floaty if you’re pushing it, and the acceleration does taper off. It confidently munches up the miles whilst cocooning you in a shell of luxury if driven sensibly. At the pace that we were doing, we were really only able to cover about 200 kilometres, which necessitated an extra stop to add some range to get us to the only 180kW-capable fast-charger on the North-South Highway.

This was a problem specific to the e-tron S Sportback on this drive, as it is the heaviest vehicle of the trio, and also the car with the most motors.

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After the car was sufficiently charged, we headed off for a lunch break at a nearby restaurant. Only a 100 kilometres stood between us and the chargers at Shell R&R Tanchak, on the southbound side of the NSHW. In an e-tron GT, this leg of the journey was over in a blur, and in no time at all, we found ourselves at the rest stop and the convoy crew commandeering the vehicles to get them recharged.

With two cars plugged in, you’d only be getting a charge speed of 90kW each - which is still plenty quick, as it charges up to 1% quicker per minute than the 50kW chargers you’d normally find. Rest stops have evolved to cater to EV owners too, as Shell R&R Tanchak actually had a sizeable standing island, a bubble tea shop, and even vending machines that dispense fresh coffee.

We were bantering with our industry peers, so we weren’t really keeping track of time. But it didn’t take that long for the cars to be sufficiently juiced up for the rest of the trip. Despite the speeds that we were doing for the final leg of the journey, we could reach our destination without having to charge again. The car was plugged back into Audi’s charger with an indicated 18 kilometres of range left.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1660899268111 Kuala Lumpur To Singapore

What Have We Learned?

With some strategic detours, an EV road trip down South is very much doable with the technology that we have today. In theory, the e-tron GTs have the range to complete a journey from KL to SG on a full charge, if driven sensibly.

Push a touch harder, and you’ll only have to stop for a quick charge (around 30 minutes) to have enough range to complete your drive up or down. There are a few key benefits of driving an EV long distances. There’s no drone or vibrations from an engine sitting high up in its rev range.

This relative peace also means less stress, for a more pleasant experience on the way to your intended destination. As long as you have reliable access to at least one charger on your travels, and destination charging at your endpoint, there’s no reason why a quality EV will not be able to make the distance.

And don’t think you need to own a bougie German EV to be able to replicate what we’ve done. As EVs become mainstream, expect even affordable mid-tier electric vehicles to be able to accomplish what we’ve done in the not-too-distant future.

Looking For EV Chargers in KL?

Here’s a list of where you can head to when your EV is running low on juice!

Mandarin Oriental Hotel KL (P1)
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'20.8"N 101°42'42.4"E

Tower of Dion, Basement 1, 27
Menara Dion, 27, Jln Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

3°09'06.3"N 101°42'34.8"E

Suria KLCC, P2-6B, KLCC 241
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

3°09'27.2"N 101°42'43.7"E

Suria KLCC, P2-7B
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'27.0"N 101°42'44.1"E
The Troika, Basement Parking (Near Entry/Exit), Persiaran KLCC
19, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

3°09'29.1"N 101°43'04.6"E

Malaysian Rubber Board, VIP Parking, Jalan Ampang 148
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'35.7"N 101°42'41.3"E
Citibank Malaysia, Basement 1, 165
Citibank Tower, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'35.6"N 101°43'03.2"E
G Tower, Outdoor Carpark, Jalan Tun Razak 199
G Tower, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'32.5"N 101°43'11.7"E
G Tower, B1-Lot 110 Red Diamond Row 199
G Tower, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'32.2"N 101°43'10.3"E

Binjai on the Park, Basement Parking, KLCC Persiaran, 9

The Binjai, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°09'17.0"N 101°43'03.4"E
Sungei Wang Plaza, B2 Row 9B #361, Jalan Sultan Ismail 111
009, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°08'41.2"N 101°42'39.4"E

Bukit Bintang City Center Sales Gallery, Jalan Hang Tuah 2

2, Jalan Hang Tuah, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°08'29.3"N 101°42'28.2"E
Robertson Street
2, Jalan Robertson, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°08'39.1"N 101°42'21.3"E
Menara Maybank, VIP Parking 2, Jalan Tun Perak
Maybank Tower, 100, Jalan Tun Perak, Bukit Bintang, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
3°08'48.9"N 101°41'57.6"E

Do let us know by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook if you do try to head down south to the Lion City for an EV road trip yourselves! But as always, stay safe Motorists!

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