As the Electric Vehicle Association Philippines (EVAP) prepares to host the inaugural ASEAN Electric Vehicle Summit in Manila next month, its Malaysian counterpart is also preparing to present a status update on Malaysia’s electric vehicle (EV) industry.
One interesting local development ahead of the summit is from Cohesive Mobility Solution (COMOS). COMOS began as a car-sharing service and a last-mile connectivity enabler for paying members using a fleet of EVs, which can be picked up at nearly a dozen public transit locations around Kuala Lumpur.
More recently, however COMOS has tweaked its business model to offer EV rental options ranging from daily, weekly to monthly packages. The rental play appears aimed at expanding its reach to one-off users who do not wish to become ‘pay-by-the-hour’ members.
Why Rent an EV?
There are some obvious advantages to renting as opposed to buying an EV.
For starters, users need not worry about sending the vehicle in for scheduled maintenance. Same goes for unscheduled maintenance — if a unit is giving problems, simply return it and get another one.
From a longer term perspective, renting allows users to keep up with rapid technological advances more easily without the burden of upfront purchase.
As newer EVs with better range and charging capacities become available, for example, users need only return their rented EVs and go for the latest instead of figuring out how to resell their purchased EV, which takes a longer time to conclude and also a lot more hassle.
How Much it Costs?
There are two models available. COMOS needs a two-day notice for any bookings.
The first is the Renault Zoe, the five-door supermini EV which can travel over 200km on a single charge. Depending on the requirement, users can opt for RM144 for a daily rental, or RM720 per week. Those who need the EV for a whole month can also opt for the monthly package which costs RM2,199.
For users who may not need to transport too many passengers or belongings, the two-seater Renault Twizy is also available. However it is only available either on a weekly package at RM650 or monthly at RM1,950.
EV Charging & Breakdown Services
All EV rental packages include accident and breakdown support as well as access to seven ChargEV and COMOS charging stations around the Klang Valley via access cards that will be provided when the rented EV is delivered.
In addition, monthly packages also come with a portable three-pin charger for overnight charging, meaning users may bring the rented EV home within the rental period.
Conclusion: Rent or Buy an EV?
The rental route is an interesting alternative to purchasing an EV outright. Consider that COMOS offers a Renault Zoe for RM2,199 in monthly rental inclusive of charging, maintenance and so on.
In comparison, take the Nissan Leaf; at RM180,000, the Leaf would cost RM3,000 monthly at zero interest over five years, before other possible costs of maintaining the vehicle. The COMOS route definitely has its appeal cost-wise.
While the idea may be novel, at the moment it seems to cater more to users looking for a temporary mobility solution. Examples that come to mind are outstation travellers in the Klang Valley who wish to pay lump sum for their travel arrangements or vehicle owners who need a stop-gap replacement while their cars are in the workshop.
When contacted, COMOS clarified to Motion Digest that there is no long-term rental arrangements beyond a month (e.g. six months or a year) for now, but users are welcome to rent for a month, return it then immediately re-book.
It may be worth addressing the lack of long-term rental options for COMOS to capture a wider market of resident Klang Valley commuters.
For more information about the EV car rental program, please click on this link: COMOS website