3 min

Adoption of Electric Vehicles by Individuals and Government

Posted by: TÜV SÜD Expert Date: 29 Jul 2023

As the world faces mounting pressure to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, there is a growing push among governments and businesses to provide affordable and sustainable alternatives. One alternative is the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) into public life, facilitated by policy and infrastructure decisions.

According to a senior official from a global environmental organisation, Singapore can lead Southeast Asia in technology transfer and the construction of renewable energy infrastructure. This is particularly important as Singapore launched a major campaign to promote EV adoption, with plans to install about 60,000 charging stations by the end of the decade, with 20,000 of them in private buildings and twice as many in public parking lots.

The announcement of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a 10-year national sustainability initiative, aims to help Singapore reach its long-term objective of net zero emissions through measures such as phasing out regular petrol cars in favour of electric vehicles. The creation of a green economy, a city surrounded by nature, and sustainable living are just a few of the primary goals that the Green Plan seeks to accomplish. The Singapore Green Plan 2030 has enabled the making of a thorough EV Roadmap to promote EV adoption. At the rate at which EV technology is developing, the upfront costs of purchasing an EV and an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle should be comparable by the mid-2020s.

People who own electric vehicles are eligible for tax incentives from the Singaporean government to reduce the initial cost difference between traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles and electric motor-powered ones. To attain this goal, the Singapore government has launched several measures to reduce the overall costs of having an electric vehicle:

  • The Enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) offers rebates for vehicles in both Bands A1 and A2, which will be increased by $5,000 for cars, and $7,500 for taxis. This suggests that a car in Band A1 will enjoy a $25,000 rebate, and a car in Band A2 will enjoy a $15,000 rebate.
  • To encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) floor will be lowered to $0 for fully electric cars and taxis till 31 December 2023.
  • With the enhanced VES, coupled with the Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI), buyers can enjoy a combined cost savings of up to $45,000 when they purchase a new fully electric car, and up to $57,500 for a new fully electric taxi.
  • The EV road taxes for electric and hybrid vehicles with power ratings ranging from 90 to 230kW will be lowered by up to 34%.

Decarbonisation and Adoption: What it Means for Car Owners

According to the Singapore Green Plan 2030, new diesel vehicles will not be able to register after three years. In addition to strictly limiting the number of cars on our roads, new registrations of diesel cars and taxis will end starting in 2025 to further pave the way for greener vehicles.

There are several reasons to adopt the decarbonisation approach and buy an EV. They are environment-friendly, have low-maintenance costs, and contribute to a noise-free driving experience. However, a car owner needs to consider all the factors when trading their petrol or diesel vehicle for an electric one. In addition to being more expensive than the average car and running on a battery pack that takes time to recharge, the nation’s infrastructure still needs to be improved, so the limited driving range discourages buyers from purchasing these vehicles over ordinary cars.

Representatives from Amply Power and HEVO, two EV charging companies, shared information about their services and some of the main obstacles and opportunities in vehicle electrification. Electricity price volatility is currently one of the main disadvantages of using it as fuel. Electricity costs can fluctuate by over 100% in a single day, but oil and gas costs tend to hold steady over a more extended period.

Adoption of EVs by the Government in the Public Sector

By switching from petrol or diesel to electric vehicles, Singapore can become more environmentally friendly, being a nation where most electricity production stems from natural gas. The National Electric Vehicle Centre, led by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), facilitates the transition to a greener city by collaborating with other government agencies and business stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of a national EV charging network, create new EV standards and regulations, and build a new EV ecosystem in Singapore.

The government has begun the implementation of a three-pronged strategy to support the adoption of EVs, including tax incentives, rules and standards, and the deployment of EV chargers. The LTA has established new statutory duties to encourage and govern EVs’ secure operation and charging.

Adoption Requires Strong Infrastructure

Electric vehicle adoption can only be widely spread once a secure, dependable, and practical charging infrastructure is in place. The creation of infrastructure and connectors for charging electric vehicles requires the usage of new technologies. A third party must thoroughly test and certify it to the necessary standards. Testing of the charging infrastructures establishes safety and quality and also aids manufacturers in enhancing current designs.

For electrification to be truly sustainable, it must coexist with greater use of renewable energy sources. A new Bill in parliament states that new developments must be able to support future EV charging requirements. The LTA also started a study earlier this year to determine which public parking lots require infrastructure upgrades.

Accessibility is a key consideration factor when deciding where to place EV chargers. Some operators use technology to adjust the charging speed based on the available power supply to solve this problem and charge more cars with the same amount of power. However, in the long run, this process requires a more systemic review of increasing the power supply.

The Ministry of Transport previously announced the EV Common Charger Grant to enable the installation of EV chargers in non-landed private residential areas to covers the installation costs, encouraging the widespread use of EV chargers in these residential complexes.

In November 2022, five operators have been selected to install EV charging points in 2,000 Housing Board carparks islandwide, to encourage greater EV adoption by growing the charging network. By end 2025, at least three charging points in the carparks that the companies are responsible for have to be in operation, adding close to 12,000 EV charging points to the national EV charging network.

Battery and Charging Infrastructure Testing: A critical component of the sustainable future.

The development of an effective and comprehensive regulatory framework is critical for the emergence of a strong electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in Singapore. To kickstart this process, the government has given the LTA new statutory powers to oversee and regulate the safe use of EVs and EV charging infrastructure. The national EV charging standards, known as Technical Reference 25 (TR25), are reviewed regularly by representatives from many sectors, including businesses, academia, and government agencies, to ensure their relevance and alignment with industry standards.

Manufacturers can ensure that their products adhere to market and regulatory requirements for safety and quality by having their batteries and charging infrastructure tested and certified by a reputable third-party organisation. Consumers trust the brand of tested products through testing and certification, which also serve to highlight the reliability and security of the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. The TR25:2016, TR25:2022, NPCS, and OPCS standards to encourage EV adoption in Singapore and guarantee the security, dependability, and accessibility of EV charging infrastructure there.

Electrical safety testing is crucial to show that the product operates according to electrical safety regulations and standards. A wide range of tests is available through EMC testing to guarantee the product’s electromagnetic compatibility. Environmental testing demonstrates the quality of the product as well as its adaptability to various challenging environments.

Periodic Inspection for Electric Vehicle Charger

Electric vehicle charging stations are routinely used by many drivers and are located in areas where they may be exposedto different weather conditions. Because of this exposure, these charging stations are prone to damages. Their components may deteriorate with time, and connections may loosen or corrode. Such conditions increase the possibility of electrical hazards such as fire or electric shock.

Following installation, it is critical to conduct periodic inspection to ensure the condition safety of these charging stations.

Different countries have different regulations in ensuring the proper installation and maintenance of EV charging stations. TR25 was introduced in Singapore to outline the technical safety criteria for Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (EVCS). Companies must engage a Licenced Electrical Worker (LEW) and an equipment specialist to install, test and certify the EVCS installation before its deployment.

Conclusion

An EV emits half as much carbon dioxide compared to an identical vehicle powered by an ICE. The nation would reduce carbon emissions by 1.5 to 2 million tonnes, or about 4% of total national emissions if all light vehicles ran on electricity. Deep decarbonisation is the most effective approach for replacing our current fossil fuel-dependent energy system with one that runs entirely on renewable and low-carbon energy sources.

A decarbonised transportation system is essential to meet emission reduction goals, achieve climate policy objectives, and slow the escalating effects of climate change. By or around mid-century, Singapore hopes to have a more sustainable and environmentally friendly land transportation system that reduces peak emissions by 80%.

 

References:

1. https://medium.com/dynamo-energy-hub/the-electric-transition-a-look-at-the-future-of-e-mobility-in-the-private-and-public-sectors-cd5a403cd4fd
2. https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltagov/en/industry_innovations/technologies/electric_vehicles/our_ev_vision.html
3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/singapore-electric-vehicle-charging-clean-energy-southeast-asia-decarbonisation-wwf-3169326
4. https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltagov/en/industry_innovations/technologies/electric_vehicles.html
5. https://www.mot.gov.sg/what-we-do/green-transport/electric-vehicles#
6. https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltagov/en/industry_innovations/technologies/electric_vehicles/letter_of_no_objection.html
7. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/5-operators-picked-to-run-at-least-12000-charging-points-in-hdb-carparks-by-end-2025

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