Singapore is pushing its electric dreams and has launched several initiatives and grants to work towards the national internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle retirement plan by 2040.
The country's ultimate goal is to run all vehicles with cleaner engines for the next two decades.
The key strategies the government put in place to support EV transformation included areas such as vehicle costs, charging infrastructure, and regulations.
It has introduced a number of grants to incentivize the adoption of electric vehicles for home and commercial vehicles.
It recently introduced an EV Common Charger Grant (ECCG) for existing, non-landed private homes to boost the expansion of the shared charging infrastructure.
The EBVG will co-finance half of the installation costs of 2,000 chargers between July 2021 and December 2023 with a total cap of S $ 4,000 for each charger.
Expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
As part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 (SGP30), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has created a comprehensive electric vehicle roadmap to intensify efforts to introduce electric vehicles.
As electric vehicle prices become more attractive over the years, accessibility to charging infrastructure is vital to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.
In the EV roadmap, the government has set a target of 60,000 charging points for electric vehicles – 40,000 in public parking lots and 20,000 on private land – by 2030 compared to the initial 28,000 charging points.
To achieve this goal, the government works with the private sector.
In fact, LTA recently completed a Request for Information (RFI) process and examines the views of industry players on the market structure for the development and operation of charging infrastructure.
At the beginning of April, it asked for written answers from market participants on how best to structure tenders for charging points for electric vehicles. This will affect charging points in public parking lots and cover critical issues such as consumer pricing and the installation of charging points.
It will also take into account the operation of the charging points and the modernization of the infrastructure required to support them, such as substations and control rooms.
27 different companies (see below) have submitted their answers to LTA.
27 companies participated in the government's RFI / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Growing EV providers in Singapore
The EV landscape in Singapore is still pretty unsaturated.
Although there are many car sharing players in Singapore, BlueSG remains the only leading provider of electric car sharing. However, the Singaporean startup QIQ Global announced last year that it would be launching small electric cars for rent.
Rendering from QIQ Pods / Image source: QIQ Global
They are called QIQ Pods and are only 2.4 meters long and 1 meter wide. Currently, the company already operates e-bike and e-scooter services in Hanoi.
As of August last year, the QIQ Pod has yet to be approved by LTA, but the startup plans to launch 300 to 600 microcars in Punggol.
Electric motorcycles are still quite a niche. Scorpio Electric is Singapore's first Singapore-built electric motorcycle.
It's the EV brand of Catalist-listed luxury car distributor EuroSports Global, which raised $ 6.3 million in funding last November.
The startup said it will use the fresh capital to develop software and hardware for its first electric motorcycle, which is slated to hit the market later this year.
This includes prototypes and pre-production builds that go through rigorous quality tests and controls to ensure they meet international standards, Scorpio Electric said in a press release.
A portion of the proceeds will also go towards completing the headquarters and 3,600 square meter assembly plant at Teban Gardens in Jurong East. According to the startup, this plant will produce up to 8,000 electric motorcycles a year.
Meanwhile, Strides Transportation, owned by SMRT, signed a one-year partnership with electric motorcycle maker EuroSports Technologies in April 2021 to develop, market and deliver smart electric motorcycles.
Under this partnership, Strides will be the sole distributor of commercial electric motorcycles in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.
Map of EV Players in Singapore / Photo Credit: Vulcan Post
Electric bicycles and scooters, on the other hand, have received a lot of flak after an increasing number of accidents with such personal mobility devices (PMDs).
This has led the government to enforce a regulation requiring e-scooter and electric cyclists to take mandatory theory tests.
Regardless of this, there are many more players in this segment compared to electric cars and bicycles.
The e-scooter startup Beam Mobility raised US $ 26 million in a Series A financing round in June to drive its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.
It currently has the largest mobility fleet in the region with presence in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
Neuron Mobility is also accelerating its overseas expansion plans. In March, the company expanded to Korea with the introduction of its e-scooter rental service.
In Australia and New Zealand, the company has already secured new contracts for Canberra and Townsville in Australia and Dunedin in New Zealand. In the UK, it has also secured contracts in Slough, Newcastle and Sunderland.
Neuron Mobility's overseas expansion follows a fundraising round last September that brought total Series A funding to $ 30.5 million.
Companies from various industries are fighting for a piece of the EV pie
Singapore's push for electric vehicles has also attracted companies from various industries to jump on the EV train.
For example, the domestic electricity trader iSwitch Energy took over up to 12 existing charging stations from the Finnish technology company PlugIT in April, marking its entry into the local EV charging market.
Ultimately, it should be a “green one-stop shop” for solar, battery storage and EV charging points
French oil giant TotalEnergies also recently signed an agreement with French conglomerate Bollore Group to acquire the EV charging network from domestic electric car sharing company BlueSG.
National Center for Electric Vehicles / Image source: LTA
LTA has also established a National Electric Vehicle Center (NEVC) which will lead the initiative to encourage wider adoption of electric vehicles.
In addition to planning the expansion of the nationwide charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, NEVC will also lead efforts to review the regulations and standards for electric vehicles and develop a robust EV ecosystem in Singapore.
NEVC will work closely with relevant government agencies, industry stakeholders and trade unions to equip our workforce with new skills, anchor new EV-related activities in Singapore and facilitate the safe and innovative development of new EV-related technologies.
A nationwide charging standard for electric vehicles (EV) TR25: 2016 was also set for the EV charging system in Singapore.
LTA and EDB, who jointly chair the Electro-Mobility Singapore (EMS) Taskforce, announced that Type 2 AC and Combo 2 DC charging systems will be adopted as National Public Charging Standards (NPCS).
In March 2020, as part of the government's commitment to create a sustainable transport system, LTA and EMA jointly announced the inclusion of CHAdeMO charging systems as optional public charging standards (OPCS) for electric vehicles.
This enables EV charger providers to provide a wider range of public charging options for EV users and supports the wider adoption of EVs in Singapore.
Electric vehicles is an important pillar of content for Vulcan Post. The rest of our EV coverage can be found here.
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Photo credit: Jefferson Tan via Facebook