SINGAPORE: The first fleet of cars for an electric car-sharing scheme will hit the roads next Tuesday (Dec 12).
BlueSG, a subsidiary of French transportation firm Bollore Group, said it will deploy 80 vehicles which users can book via the BlueSG mobile app. The app will be available on the App Store and Google Play from Dec 5.
The company signed an agreement with the Land Transport Authority and the Economic Development Board last year to develop the electric car-sharing programme, which will see 1,000 electric cars deployed in stages.
Rentals will be charged based on duration instead of distance, and users can choose from two subscription plans.
Under the premium yearly membership plan, priced at S$15 a month, subscribers are charged S$0.33 per minute for a minimum booking of 15 minutes.
The weekly membership plan does not charge a recurring fee and users will pay S$0.50 per minute for a minimum duration of 15 minutes.
“We are excited about the impending official launch in Singapore, as it is the world’s second biggest electric vehicle car-sharing programme after Paris," said BlueSG managing director Franck Vitte in a news release.
He told Channel NewsAsia separately that the pricing is "relatively consistent" with that of other cities in which the company operates. "We are confident that it is going to be quite successful," he said.
The company also has a presence in Los Angeles, London, Turin and several French cities.
In Singapore, a total of 30 BlueSG stations offering 120 charging points will be rolled out islandwide by the end of this year.
Of these, 18 stations will be located in public housing estates including Tampines, Bishan and Punggol, while 10 stations will be in the city centre and its fringes and two others will be within the industrial and commercial estates at one-north and the Science Park.
By 2020, the company intends to have a fleet of 1,000 electric vehicles and 2,000 charging points, Mr Vitte said, adding that third-party cars will be allowed to tap on the charging points then.
"If it becomes even more successful then we will discuss with the authorities, with the Government whether we have to deploy more cars or more charging points,” he added.
The new car-sharing initiative was welcomed by one industry observer who said it will introduce more Singaporeans to the idea of electric cars.
"What it will help is to establish a network of charging points which has probably been a prohibitor in the past, and also show the economics of owning an electric car versus a normal car," said Mr Richard Skinner, strategy leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore.
He added: “A couple of reasons why we haven't seen that many electric cars in Singapore is probably the lack of subsidies we have in Singapore. So in China, in Europe, in the United States, to establish the electric cars initially, there were quite strong subsidies. And at the same time there was also help in building the connecting points."
Those interested to rent an electric car can sign up and register on BlueSG's website.