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Electric vehicles to patrol new bridge

The Second Penang Bridge has gone full electric with new electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet to patrol the longest bridge in Southeast Asia.

Part of the bridge’s efforts in maintaining its green credentials, it has acquired five Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles which are chargeable using a regular power socket. The four-seater vehicle, with similar dimensions of a Perodua Viva, is able to travel 150km after an eight-hour full charge.

In a handover ceremony on the main span of the bridge yesterday, concessionaire Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) received the vehicles in the livery of Penang flag colours from Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MMMSB).

The vehicles were handed over to JKSB managing director Datuk Ismail Mohamed Taib by MMMSB chief executive officer Tetsuya Oda, witnessed by Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and JKSB chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahboob.

Seven charging stations were also set up at the toll plaza on the mainland, two of them being rapid chargers which are able to give a 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.

Ismail, in explaining the rationale of the purchase of the vehicles, said the cars in the long run were more efficient and cheaper to maintain.

“These EVs will not only use power from Tenaga Nasional (Bhd), but also from our renewable sources such as solar panels and three wind turbines located at our toll plaza,” he said.

JKSB was presented Green World Ambassador status in November, winning the International Green Apple Award from the Green Organisation, United Kingdom, for its application of environmentally-friendly approaches in the construction of the bridge.

Ismail said the vehicles would also patrol the land expressways connected to the bridge. “If the need arises, we might consider increasing the number of these vehicles to support the increase in traffic on the bridge,” he added.

The i-MiEVs produce 49kW (67hp)of power and 180Nm of torque, with an ability to reach a top speed of 130kph. It is powered by a 330 volt battery which is covered by a five-year warranty and reportedly able to retain 80 per cent of its full capacity even after that period.

After 10 years of use, the figure drops to 70 per cent. The eco-car is the first electric vehicle sold in Malaysia and is priced at RM136,000 on-the-road without insurance.

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