, Singapore
Cecilia Ku, Managing Director of Delta, at ITAP 2022

Why is EV uptake still low in Singapore?

Electric vehicle (EV) firm executive says the requirement for EV shifters is expensive.

Whilst Singaporeans are willing to swerve from petrol-fueled cars to electric vehicles (EV), there are still factors blocking them from doing so. More than half of motorists in the Lion City are planning to steer away from fossil-fueled vehicles and use EV instead in the future, a 2022 Epson research showed. Government data also revealed that new electric car registrations even increased more than twice in 2021.

Despite this willingness, Cecilia Ku, manufacturing firm, Delta Electronics’ managing director, said these numbers for EV adoption in Singapore are “still very low.” The Epsons’ Climate Reality Barometer indicated that less than 20% shifted gears to EVs.

Ku said one of the obstacles slowing down the EV shift is the costly certificate of entitlement (COE) for these vehicles, which allows an individual to have the right to own and drive a vehicle in Singapore. According to ride-hailing firm, Grab, the COE “even costs more than the car itself.”

“Hopefully, the government can also look at the COE. It's because everyone is talking about how the COE is still very expensive,” Ku told Singapore Business Review on the sidelines of the Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC 2022 held at the Singapore Expo.

Advisory firm, KPMG, also aired the same sentiments, saying that the government has more space left to introduce policies for EV users amidst the high costs of car ownership due to taxes and COE. 

The government’s subsidies to accelerate EV adoption are Singapore’s EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), which can help save consumers up to a combined $45,000 on the purchase cost of a new EV. 

October 2022 Automobile Association of Singapore data showed that COE for EVs up to 110 kilowatts (KW) costs $81,089 whilst COE for EVs above 110 KW is worth $110,000.

Build more EV infrastructure

To speed up EV registrations in Singapore, KPMG encouraged more infrastructure, which can resolve range anxiety for EV drivers. Range anxiety refers to the fear that there is an insufficient charge for an EV whilst on the road.

“Hopefully, with the infrastructure built up in Singapore, it can bring more comfort, so the drivers will switch from the diesel car to the car you share with us in the future,” said Ku.

Amongst Delta's EV solutions are the Energy Storage Systems and the Delta Green platform, Ku shared.

She said these platforms will augment energy demand from EV charges, and monitor the intake and consumption of energy by the EV car.

“I think that's one way that Delta is actually already helping the government and operators in Singapore in conquering the limitation posed by the infrastructure,” said Ku.

Delta also featured EV chargers including the AC charger, which has a power output from 7 to 22KW. The AC charger refers to slow charging, which is for commercial and home charging.

AC chargers can be used in single houses, apartments, and multi-dwelling workspaces. It can charge an EV from four to eight hours.

Considered a “fast charger,” the DC charger has a power output ranging from 25 KW to 200KW. It can optimise the operating costs of public and commercial charging services, especially in space-limited sites.

DC chargers can be installed for retail and hospitality sites, business workplaces, and fleets. It can charge from one to four hours.

DC High Power chargers can be put up in parking lots, service stations, and intercity charging networks. It can charge an EV for 10 to 30 minutes.

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