Joe Nguyen, first owner of a Tesla model in Singapore five years ago, still enjoys his electric ride.
The ride is comparatively low-maintenance and cheaper to drive than a petrol car. He spends around $0.06 per kilometre’s drive, compared to about $0.15 for a typical petrol car. The car also has lesser parts to maintain as it does not need a carburettor and transmission.
In an interview with the Talking Post host, Steven Chia, he said that because of the Model S’ regenerative braking, he has not found the need to change the brakes in five years.
The programme gives an insight into the future of Singapore with a switch to electric vehicles (EVs), which plans to phase out vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040 to improve public health and fight climate change.
China has achieved success on this front by taking greater strides in low-carbon transport.
As of May 31, there were 1,485 electric cars and 616 plug-in petrol-electric hybrid cars in Singapore. For the drivers, the need to charge their vehicles is the biggest difference that comes with the switch.
The Singapore government aims to have 60,000 EV charging points by 2030, of which 40,000 will be in public car parks and 20,000 on private premises- up from 1,800 charging points in the country at the end of last year.
This will enable two things- to cease new diesel car and taxi registrations from 2025 and secondly require all new car and taxi registrations to be of cleaner- energy models from 2030.
EV Association of Singapore’s Vice President, Paul Welsford said that going by this goal, EV chargers would be deployed in mostly all car parks over the next decade.
He also said that there would be charging points offering quick top-ups, what he has named opportunity charging as well as slower top-ups at places like homes or workplaces where cars remain for hours at a stretch. This is called the slower top-ups destination charging.
Fast car chargers can be found at selected Shell stations and take 40 to 50 minutes to juice up a car like Hyundai’s Kona Electric from zero to 80 percent.
Westford cited that these rapid chargers ate very often powered to around 50 kilowatts. Chargers rated up to 350 kW exist in some countries, therefore there is potential for higher charging speeds in future- from zero to 80 percent in 20 to 25 minutes and possibly quicker.
However, rapid direct-current charging is more expensive than slower alternate-current charging. It can cost 10 times more in some cases, he said.
But as compared to the earlier models, modern EV’s can run farther before needing to charge them again.
The batteries however cannot be charged excessively, they cannot take more energy than they store. The batteries come with a sophisticated battery management system that works in sync with the EV chargers to prevent overcharging.