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PressClub Asia · Article.

“Road trip! Road trip!” A cross-border electric drive from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in the BMW iX.

What to look out for when planning your electric adventure.

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Singapore. June is the perfect month to hit pause on everyday life and press play on a holiday adventure that will reignite your passion for travel. But there are some very important questions you need to answer first! Where do you go? What do you do? And most importantly, who will be your travel companion(s)? After a bit of thought, we made the decision to take to the roads with a few good friends and head out on an exciting journey to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the weekend. 

 

As everyone knows, a road trip is a great way to enjoy a holiday with family and friends. The excitement comes not only when you arrive at your destination, but from the journey itself. Kuala Lumpur is the perfect weekend getaway as it’s under 400 km away from Singapore and offers bustling streets, excellent cuisine, and plenty of shopping! The BMW iX, a fully electric Sports Activity Vehicle, is the perfect long-distance companion providing a virtually silent and locally emission-free drive. If you’re planning a drive up North with an electric vehicle (EV), here are some things to consider.

 

Health protocol requirements.

First things first – familiarise yourself with the health protocols of your destination. Malaysia requires all visitors to sign up for the My Sejahtera app and have their vaccination status reflected in the system so you can enter public premises. Next, purchase travel insurance with the necessary health and travel coverage to ensure you are taken care of if a situation arises.

 

Is your car road-ready?

Are the tyres properly inflated? Is there sufficient tread depth? Is your washer fluid topped up? For peace of mind, you can contact your dealer to arrange a pre-travel inspection and have these questions quickly answered. For BMW owners with compatible vehicles, ensure that your car is mapped to your My BMW app, and your BMW ID is signed in on your vehicle profile so that you’re able to remotely access certain features of your car right from your smartphone.

 

Preparing to charge your EV.

Familiarise yourself with the public charging network in Malaysia, download the necessary charging apps (i.e. ParkEasy and JomCharge), and set up your account for a seamless charging experience. These apps will also show you if a charger is available or currently in use and allow you to adjust your plans as you go. Another useful app is PlugShare – this shows the available AC and DC charging spots enroute, and the network providers that operate the chargers. Finally, if you are planning to make regular drives into Malaysia with an EV, you may consider signing up for a yearly subscription with ChargEV to utilise their AC chargers – just remember to bring along your own Mode 3 cable if you do so!

 

What to take with you.

The luggage situation is always a key consideration when going on a road trip. Thankfully, the 500-litre rear compartment of the BMW iX ensures that there is room for everyone’s bags. Next, be sure your passports and travel documents are within easy reach for verification at border checkpoints. Finally, don’t forget to stock up on water and some snacks, which you can easily access in the large storage compartments along the doors, so that everyone stays hydrated and has something to tide them over from stop to stop.

 

On the go!

After clearing customs and crossing the border, the long highways are perfect for the BMW iX to really stretch its legs. Imagine conversations are flowing, your favourite playlist is on the Harman Kardon surround sound system, and the scenery is flying by quietly. With the tall glass windows and the panoramic glass roof, you get plenty of natural light to complement your already comfortable ride. The roof’s electrochromatic shading function is particularly handy if the sun is high in the sky – the simple press of a button immediately turns the roof opaque and offers additional protection against the summer heat.

 

After a few hours on the road, a good mid-journey rest point is the R&R Ayer Keroh (Northbound) – it is one of the best locations with eateries plus a restaurant situated within an overhead bridge, and there are plenty of shops around to stock up on snacks. At the same time, your EV can recharge at the Caltex station’s      50 kW DC charger. With the My BMW app, you can also remotely monitor the charging progress and know exactly when the car reaches your target level of charge.

 

After a restful break, it’s time to hit the road again. As you get nearer to Kuala Lumpur, traffic starts to build up – here, the adaptive regeneration function proves to be particularly useful in start-stop traffic. You may choose to engage the B mode for a stronger battery regeneration effect that allows one-pedal driving – this decreases the need to engage the brake pedal and slows the vehicle down while reducing the wear and tear on the brake pads.

 

Coming home.

After a few days of eating and shopping in Kuala Lumpur, it’s time to head home. On the drive back, a stop at the Shell Recharge station in Tangkak with its 180 kW high performance charger ensures plenty of range is put back into the BMW iX very quickly. If the charger is not in use, the ParkEasy app also allows you to reserve the charging spot 10 minutes in advance of your arrival.

 

A comfortable car is essential for a smooth and fun-filled road trip with your family and friends, and the BMW iX is the perfect vehicle of choice. After this electric trip up north and back, only one question remains – when is the next one?

 

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