SINGAPORE: As part of efforts to expand Singapore’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, all Housing and Development Board (HDB) car parks in at least eight towns will be fitted with EV chargers by 2025.
The eight - Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Punggol, Queenstown, Sembawang and the upcoming Tengah town - are part of a "town-centric" approach being taken for the installation of charging points, said Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Thursday (Mar 4).
“By the 2030s, we will strive to make every HDB town an EV-ready town,” he said.
The towns were chosen as they are spread across Singapore and have a high concentration of car parks with existing electrical capacity to support charging point deployment, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In the near term, charging points will be installed in a variety of public car parks islandwide where suitable and where there is spare electrical capacity, it added.
The agency noted that the first tender for charging points - more than 600 of them at about 200 public car parks - was issued by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and LTA in November last year.
An industry consultation on the private sector’s participation in public charger deployment will be launched later this month.
These initiatives are in line with the aim of deploying 60,000 EV charging points across Singapore by 2030, of which 40,000 will be in public car parks while another 20,000 will be in private premises.
“If we assume one-third of cars are EVs by 2030, this translates into a EV to charging point ratio of about 5:1,” said Mr Ong, noting that estimates of the optimum ratio between EVs and charging points range from five to 10 vehicles per point.
For the national public charging standards, Mr Ong said Singapore has settled on Type 2 for AC charging and CCS 2 for DC or fast charging.
With a range of about 400km to 500km per charge, a typical EV user would need to charge about once every five days, he said, adding that charging points would need to be shared, especially in public car parks.
“That way, we will be able to minimise electrical infrastructure upgrades, we can tap on the spare electrical capacity in all our public carparks, and install charging points as quickly as possible.”
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EV COMMON CHARGER GRANT
A new EV Common Charger Grant will be introduced to kickstart the expansion of shared charging infrastructure in existing “non-landed private residences” such as condominiums.
To be administered by the LTA, the grant will co-fund the installation of 2,000 chargers in such residences between July this year and December 2023, subject to a cap.
More details on the grant will be announced in the second quarter of this year, LTA said.
It noted that all new HDB carparks will provide sufficient electrical capacity to support EV slow charging for 15 per cent of their car parking lots, and install a minimum number of chargers in these lots.
This requirement will be imposed in due course on new private developments, as well as existing buildings undergoing major redevelopment, LTA said, adding that more details will be released at a later date.
READ: Amid push for electric vehicles, getting charging points installed in condominiums remains a challenge
NATIONAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE CENTRE
A new National Electric Vehicle Centre (NEVC), set up under the LTA, will lead the drive to promote wider EV adoption.
“In addition to planning for the expansion of the nationwide EV charging infrastructure, NEVC will also lead efforts to review EV regulations and standards and develop a robust EV ecosystem in Singapore,” said LTA.
The new centres will work with partners to "equip our workforce with new capabilities, anchor new EV-related activities in Singapore, and facilitate the safe and innovative development of new EV-related technologies," it added.
Meanwhile, legislation is being amended to transfer the role of EV charging systems regulator from the Energy Market Authority to LTA, “to give dedicated focus to this work”, said Mr Ong.
LTA is leading a comprehensive review of TR25 - a set of technical and safety standards governing EV charging in Singapore - together with industry players, experts and other stakeholders, he said, adding that the review is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“Regulatory sandboxes” will be set up to allow commercial players to test and introduce various EV charging solutions while the review is ongoing, he said.
“It is very important we get this right, because it will determine the level of private sector involvement in finding solutions to build up the infrastructure and drive EV charging and adoption,” he added.
CHANGES TO ROAD TAX
Noting that there has already been a "significant downward revision" of road taxes for electric cars this year, Mr Ong said the issue has been further reviewed.
"We should set the electric car road tax schedule such that electric and ICE (internal combustion engine) cars with roughly the same look, feel and level of luxury are subject to the same road taxes," he said.
"This is an inherently subjective exercise and wouldn't be very scientific, but it reflects the policy objective, which is that a large part of road tax is a luxury tax," he said.
From Jan 1 next year, the road tax brackets for electric cars will be merged such that vehicles with a power rating of 90-230kW will pay the same road tax as those with a power rating of 30-90kW.
This will result in a reduction of up to 34 per cent in road tax for electric cars in the 90-230kW bracket, the LTA said.
This means the annual road tax for a Hyundai Kona Electric will fall from about S$1,400 to S$1,100; while that of a Tesla Model 3 will drop from S$2,300 to S$1,500, noted Mr Ong, adding that this would make their road taxes comparable to ICE models with a similar look and feel.
"What is important is that we have now established the principles and policy for charging road tax on electric cars. As more models emerge, we will review the road tax schedule, with a view not to over-charge electric vis-à-vis ICE cars," he said.
The LTA said these changes will also apply to petrol-electric cars that currently pay road tax based on their maximum electric power rating.
Those who have already paid road tax for the period beyond Jan 1, 2022, based on the existing road tax schedule will have the excess offset from the amount payable at the next renewal.
“If the vehicle is transferred to another owner before its next road tax renewal, any excess road tax paid will be offset against the transfer fee payable, and any amount remaining will be transferred along with the vehicle to the new registered owner,” said LTA.