Providing more electric vehicle charging points a priority: Minister
To get more people to buy electric vehicles (EVs), more charging points must be provided, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary yesterday.
At the Ministry of Transport's Committee of Supply debate yesterday, it announced several measures to build a sustainable transport system in Singapore, with plans to phase out all internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040.
Dr Janil said by 2030, Singapore should see no new purchases of ICE vehicles. He stressed that with close to 900,000 ICE vehicles today, this will require a transformation of the fleet, consumer behaviour and the necessary supporting infrastructure.
Dr Janil said the first step was to ensure enough charging infrastructure for EV owners.
He said: "This will not be easy, but is very important. If you are considering an EV over an ICE vehicle you must be convinced that access to a charger will be as convenient as access to a petrol station."
He said the ministry will prioritise charging provision at carparks. There will be up to 28,000 public charging points by 2030, the ministry said.
It will also incentivise the uptake of EVs through the EV Early Adoption Incentive, which will narrow the upfront cost difference between an EV and an equivalent ICE vehicle by up to $20,000.
He said taxi companies will also be able to benefit from incentives. He added that while current EV owners will not benefit from such incentives, they will enjoy tax revisions and exemptions that help offset costs.
Dr Janil said the Government will also take the lead to green fleets. All new public bus purchases from now on will be cleaner energy buses.
He said: "Since last March, we have deployed 50 diesel hybrid buses on the roads. We have also bought 60 fully electric buses and will be deploying them progressively this year."
The Government will also allow high-powered e-motorcycles into Singapore from next month, in addition to the low-powered ones that are already allowed today, Dr Janil said.
The Government will also approve CHAdeMO, a fast charging method for EVs, as an optional EV public charging standard. This means public charging points here can include CHAdeMO chargers.
The minister pointed out that the transition will rely on some degree of technological shift.
Dr Janil said: "Greater EV adoption will result in an increase in electricity demand and we will be able to manage this. Besides building new power generation capacity and reinforcing our grid network, we will also incorporate innovations such as smart charging and energy storage solutions that store energy from the grid during off-peak periods."
In an e-mail to the media yesterday evening on whether there would be a ban on ICE vehicles, a ministry spokesman said it was premature to talk about it now.