Singapore is moving towards its electric dreams and has launched several initiatives and grants to work towards the national plan for the phasing out of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040.
The country’s ultimate goal is for all vehicles to run on a cleaner engine in the next two decades.
Key strategies the government has established to support the transformation of electric vehicles included areas such as vehicle costs, charging infrastructure and regulations.
It has introduced a large number of subsidies to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles for private and commercial vehicles.
More recently, it introduced an EV Common Charger Grant (ECCG) for existing unearthed private residences to initiate the expansion of shared cargo infrastructure.
The ECCG will co-finance half of the installation costs of 2,000 chargers between July 2021 and December 2023, with an overall cap of $ 4,000 for each charger.
Reinforcement of the EV cargo infrastructure
Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030 (SGP30), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has established a comprehensive roadmap to step up efforts to adopt it.
As electric vehicle prices become more attractive over the years, accessibility to charging infrastructure is vital to encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.
In the EV roadmap, the government has set a target of 60,000 EV recharging points (40,000 in public car parks and 20,000 in private premises) by 2030, compared to the initial 28,000 recharging points.
The government is working with the private sector to achieve this goal.
In fact, LTA has recently concluded an information request exercise (RFI) and is studying the views of industry agents on the market structure for developing and operating cargo infrastructures.
In early April, it sought written responses from market participants on how best to structure electric vehicle charging point offerings. This will affect public car charging points, covering critical issues such as the price of charges to consumers and how charging points will be installed.
The operation of recharging points and the updating of the necessary infrastructure to support them, such as substations and chambers, will also be taken into account.
27 different companies, as seen below, have submitted their responses to LTA.
Taking advantage of electric vehicle suppliers in Singapore
The EV landscape in Singapore is still quite unsaturated.
Although car-sharing players abound in Singapore, BlueSG remains the only leading player in electric car-sharing. However, Singapore startup QIQ Global announced last year that it plans to do so they launch rental electric microcars.
Called QIQ Pods, they are only 2.4 meters long and 1 meter wide. The firm currently manages e-bike and e-scooter services in Hanoi.
In August last year, the QIQ Pod had not yet been approved by LTA, but the start is planned to deploy 300 to 600 microcars in Punggol.
Electric motorcycles are also still a special place. Scorpio Electric is the first electric motorcycle manufactured in Singapore in Singapore.
It is the EV brand of the luxury car dealer listed in Catalonia, EuroSports Global, which raised $ 6.3 million in funding last November.
The startup said it will use the new capital to develop software and hardware for its first electric motorcycle, which is scheduled to launch this year.
This will include prototypes and pre-production versions that will be subjected to rigorous testing and quality controls to ensure they meet international standards, Scorpio Electric said in a press release.
Part of the proceeds will also go to complete the 3,600-square-meter headquarters and assembly plant at Teban Gardens in Jurong East. According to the startup, this plant is expected to produce up to 8,000 electric motorcycles each year.
Meanwhile, Strides Transportation, owned by SMRT, signed one one year collaboration with electric motorcycle manufacturer EuroSports Technologies in April 2021 to develop, market and supply smart electric motorcycles.
Under this partnership, Strides will be the sole distributor of commercial electric motorcycles in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.
Bicycles and electric scooters, on the other hand, have suffered many flaks after a growing number of accidents affecting these personal mobility devices (PMDs).
This has led the government to enforce a regulation on which electric cyclists and electric scooters must take compulsory theoretical tests.
Regardless, there are far more players in this segment compared to cars and electric bikes.
Beam Mobility, the start of the electronic scooter, recently raised $ 26 million in a Series A funding round in June to boost its expansion in the Asia Pacific.
It currently has the largest mobility fleet in the region, with a presence in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
Neuron Mobility is also stepping up its overseas expansion plans. In March, it expanded to Korea with the launch of its electronic scooter rental services.
In Australia and New Zealand, the company has already secured new contracts to operate in Canberra and Townsville, Australia, and Dunedin, New Zealand. In the UK, he has also secured contracts in Slough, Newcastle and Sunderland.
Neuron Mobility’s overseas expansion followed a fundraiser last September, bringing its total Series A funding to $ 30.5 million.
Companies from different verticals are struggling to get a piece of the EV cake
Singapore’s push for electric vehicles has also attracted companies from different industries to jump on the EV bandwagon.
For example, a self-produced electricity retailer iSwitch Energy has acquired up to 12 existing charging stations of Finnish technology firm PlugIT in April, marking its entry into the local electric vehicle charging market.
Ultimately, it aims to be a “one-stop shop” in solar, battery storage and EV charging points
French oil giant TotalEnergies has also recently signed an agreement with French conglomerate Bollore Group acquire the EV charging network from the BlueSG electric car sharing firm.
Called Bluecharge, it is currently Singapore’s largest EV recharging network, with 1,500 recharging points representing around 85% of the island’s recharging points.
This move is in line with oil companies venturing into electric vehicle charging space. In Singapore, both Shell and Caltex offer recharging points at selected stations.
The solar energy company Sunseap has also set up an eco-friendly mobility business called Charge +. With this new arm, it plans to install 10,000 electric vehicle (EV) recharging points across the island by 2030.
In line with this goal, Charge + aims to install 4,000 EV recharging points to 1,200 condominiums in Singapore.
According to the CEO of Charge +, they have received an “overwhelmingly positive response” from management and residents of many condominiums. Its first partnership is with Sky @ Eleven condominium, with six recharging points to be installed within the grounds.
Drivers of electric vehicles living in condominiums who choose to use the Charge + charging service will pay a fixed monthly fee in the form of a subscription, which is a “first of its kind” for charging electric vehicles in Singapore.
Under this subscription model, users will receive a certain monthly energy threshold for a monthly fee; it is similar to a telecommunications package with a fixed number of mobile data capacity per month.
They will benefit from the cost savings from using this service, as the monthly toll will be about half of what a driver driving a conventional vehicle will normally spend on gasoline on a monthly basis.
– Goh Chee Kiong, CEO of Charge +
The EV landscape needs to be regulated
LTA will take over the regulation of electric vehicle chargers from the Energy Market Authority, according to a new law passed in Parliament on May 11th.
With this move, the LTA will regulate both electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, which senior parliamentary transportation secretary Baey Yam Keng said would help drive the adoption of electric vehicles.
Explaining the change, Baey said, “The current situation is not optimal because, while LTA is responsible for developing the charging infrastructure, it has no oversight of the regulations governing proper installation.”
“In addition, no government agency oversees the regulation of non-fixed charging solutions, such as battery replacement.”
Under the new law, LTA will lead efforts to review technical standards and safety precautions regarding electric vehicles. It will set EV charging standards to move forward. Licensed electrical workers will install fixed chargers in accordance with these regulations.
Baey said the government is considering other legislative measures, such as the need to install chargers for new buildings.
LTA has also created a National Center for Electric Vehicles (NEVC), which will drive the momentum to promote a wider adoption of electric vehicles.
In addition to planning the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country, NEVC will also lead efforts to review EV regulations and standards and develop a robust electric vehicle ecosystem in Singapore.
NEVC will work closely with relevant government agencies, industry stakeholders and unions to equip our workforce with new capabilities, anchor new EV-related activities in Singapore and facilitate the innovative and safe development of new EV-related technologies.
A nationally charged electric vehicle (EV) standard TR25: 2016 has also been established for the EV charging system in Singapore.
LTA and EDB, which co-chair the Electro-Mobility Singapore (EMS) working group, announced that AC 2 and Combo-2 DC type charging systems would be adopted as National Public Charging Standards (NPCS).
In March 2020, as part of the government’s commitment to create a sustainable transportation system, LTA and EMA jointly announced the addition of CHAdeMO charging systems as Optional Public Charging Standards (OPCS) for electric vehicles.
This allows electric vehicle charger providers to incorporate a wide range of public charging options for electric vehicle users and supports the wider adoption of electric vehicles in Singapore.
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Featured Image Credit: Jefferson Tan via Facebook