Vespa wants you to ride, instead of drive, to work and save money in the process.

CRUDE oil prices may be tumbling again in the world markets, but Malaysian pump prices are still hovering on the high side, with RON95 at RM2.30 and diesel at RM2.20 per litre.

Naturally, the headlines are filled with related news stories. From free petrol for new Vespa owners to electric charge points - this week is all about that precious commodity.

VESPA’S SIX-MONTHS FREE PETROL OFFER

If the petrol price volatility is causing you sleepless nights, Vespa may have a solution to help you get a sounder sleep.

It has announced that the Sprint 150 ABS and Primavera 150 ABS models will come with six months of free petrol upon purchase. The offer is valid during the “Vespa, Why Drive? Let’s Ride” campaign, which ends on June 30.

“In the prevailing condition of rising fuel costs, tolls and parking charges, we are promoting the idea of riding a Vespa to work as an alternative to driving a car while maintaining the spirit of style and adventure,” said Farouk Faisal, chief operating officer of Naza Premira.

PETROL STATIONS, CASUALTY OF PRICE WARS?

On Monday, Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) said it planned to hold talks with the government on issues concerning fuel ceiling prices.

Its president, Datuk Khairul Anwar said they were agreeable to the new weekly price announcements, but disagreed with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry’s plan to introduce ceiling prices for petrol.

He said a policy change would result in not having standardised fuel prices, which would lead to unhealthy business activities and price wars.

“When the margin shrinks, there will be no profit. Therefore, a lot of operators would go out of business and there would be no jobs or business opportunities for locals,” he claimed.

‘ELECTRIC’ PETROL STATIONS

If the price wars don’t get them, the proliferation of electric vehicles may change the nature of petrol stations forever.

This week, Petronas unveiled plans for ChargEV points at 66 stations nationwide, heralding a new era of electric charging at your favourite gas stop.

It is a seismic shift in function of the common petrol station, but one that may help propel its relevance into the long-term future.

The move is the result of GreenTech Malaysia’s partnership with Petronas Dagangan (PDB) for the installation of ChargEV charging stations.

You will need to get a ChargEV card in order to use these chargers.

The government plans to deploy 100,000 electric cars, 100,000 scooters and 2,000 buses by 2030, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili.

It will have a lot of work ahead because right now, there are fewer than 200 chargers nationwide and to support the large fleet of electric vehicles, around 25,000 charging stations would be needed.

If the plan succeeds, petrol price woes may become a part of history.

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