Special Report | CEM says electric vehicle chargers are properly installed, public disagrees

In response to concerns expressed in the community, more specifically, by electric vehicle (EV) owners and users, the Times questioned the entities responsible for the installation of the public EV charging stations network in order to ascertain the reasons behind the flaws detected.

In the last few weeks, video reports and photographs have surfaced on several social network platforms, showing the difficulties faced by users charging their vehicles, namely short charging cables which fail to reach the charging point of vehicles.

Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM), a concessionaire of power supply to Macau and the entity responsible for the installation and maintenance of public EV charging stations, told the Times that all of the charging facilities had been planned and executed correctly, and followed safety procedures to cope with natural disasters.

In their reply to the concerns, CEM stated that it was supporting the Macau SAR government’s green commuting policy, providing “technical evaluation of the EV charger installation.”

According to the company, in order to cope with different types of EV models, “CEM has installed some EV chargers in front of the parking space and some at the back of the parking space,” adding, “EV drivers can choose the parking space that [best] suits their EV type for charging.”

With respect to safety measures, CEM noted, “there are concerns suggesting that the EV chargers could be flooded or damaged by severe storms or typhoons in summer. Therefore, each EV charger is accommodated with a shelter capable withstanding strong wind and heavy rain. If flooding occurs, power to the EV chargers will be suspended and electricity leakage will be avoided, so as to decrease the damage caused to the EV chargers.”

The company added that they have implemented the “necessary measures to protect the EV chargers in case of bad weather, and will continue to review the on-site condition [of the chargers] and enhance protective measures in the future.”

Regarding the size of the parking spots, one of the issues mentioned by users, the company remarked, “it has complied with the mandatory laws and regulations of the DSAT [Transport Bureau] and [the size of the parking spots are] the same as the size of a normal parking space. The EV parking space should be enough to accommodate a charging EV.”

According to the same source, there are currently 172 charging spaces located in 35 public car parks and five streets across the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane, with the coverage of public car parks up to 70 percent.

Also interviewed by the Times, an EV charger user reaffirmed the problems noted by several netizens in published videos and photos. “It’s not properly done,” he said. “The parking spots are too small for some of the EV’s and in other cases, the placement of the charging stations does not suit most of the charging points of the vehicles, forcing them to go onto the street in [the wrong direction] to park and to be able to charge,” he said, giving examples such as the charging stations at Areia Preta and behind the Red Market.

As the Times observed “in loco,” the stations cause some users difficulties, leading drivers to improperly park in order to reach the charging station. This happened in the public car park of the Alameda Dr Carlos d’Assumpção in NAPE, during a visit by the Times yesterday afternoon.

During the production of this report, the Times also contacted the DSAT, which did not reply to questions by press time.

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