Malaysia's Mobility Werk signs agreement with UK's EZ-Charge, aims to produce EV chargers locally –

Mobility Werk Group has signed a technical collaboration agreement with EZ-Charge from the UK. This morning’s signing ceremony cum launch of the company’s rebranding and new logo was officiated by minister of science, technology and innovation Datuk Seri Adham Baba.

You’ve probably never heard of the name, so let’s start with an intro. Mobility Werk (the latter part of the name is German, not a typo) claims to have over five decades of track record in local manufacturing of automotive components. This touted experience is through acquisition. In November 2021, a Melaka-based auto parts vendor called Crusk Assembler bought 100% equity in UMW Advantech, a subsidiary of the UMW Group.

Under the MW Group auto umbrella is MW Assembler, MW Advantech (manufacturing of filters, plastic parts and fluids), MW Electronics (sole distributor of the Alpine car audio brand) and MW EV. The latter was set up to manufacture parts and chargers for electric vehicles (EVs). MW supplies brands such as Perodua, Proton, Honda, Toyota, Inokom, Modenas and Mitsubishi Motors, among other OEMs.

MW aims to “become the pioneer in the manufacturing of EV parts, components and EV chargers” and the group’s long-term plan includes a focus on localisation of EV manufacturing to help shape a competitive supply chain ecosystem for EVs in Malaysia and Asia-Oceania, the company says. That’s where EZ-Charge comes in.

“Malaysia as with the rest of the world is heading towards the EV industry. This indicates that the internal combustion engine will end at some point. Therefore MW Group has taken strategic and sustainable steps to work with technological partners globally. MW Group has identified EZ-Charge, a company in the UK with more than 30 years of experience in smart electronic solutions, as a technical partner in realising the development of EV in the Malaysian automotive industry,” said Zulkifli Bin Kasim, MW Group’s executive chairman.

The public EV charger you see here is the Smart Dual 22kW Charger by EZ-Charge, which accepts contactless card, RFID card and smartphone app payments. It features live monitoring of the charger status. According to its maker, juicing a Renault Zoe – a compact electric hatch with a 52 kWh battery and 390 km range – from 20% to 80% would take 1.4 hours, topping up 225 km of range.

According to an EZ-Charge rep at the event, there are currently 250 of the self-designed and British-made chargers installed in the UK now, and they’re looking at 1,000 units this year. This would be the first overseas deal for EZ-Charge, which counts reliability and ease of use as its EV charger’s unique points. From what we understand, MW will seek to manufacture the charger in Malaysia to lower the cost.

Note that the specs of the eventual “CKD charger” might not be identical to the demo unit seen here – no product details were officially shared at the event. MW also did not share a timeline, but said that it’s seeking for more of such collaborations with companies abroad.

“MW Group will seek more strategic collaborations including partners in Japan to bring about the localisation of EV parts and components. This forms our strategic plan in playing a pivotal role in transitioning the automotive industry to EV technology. The collaboration with EZ-Charge and future ones will shape a competitive supply chain ecosystem for Malaysia,” Zulkifli added.

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