500 car chargers planned for Singapore 

Singaporean energy provider SP Group has announced plans to open 500 electric vehicle (EV) charging points by 2020, filling a “critical gap in scaling up EV adoption”. 

Singapore’s attitude to EVs was in the news this month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticised the city-state’s lack of infrastructure. 

SP Group said that its network would be the largest that is fully accessible to the public and include more than 100 fast-charging points, which use direct current. A 50-kilowatt DC cable can fully charge a vehicle in around 30 minutes.

SP Group said Singapore currently had around five DC chargers. Alternating current offers lower power at about 7.4kW and takes about 3-4 hours to charge. 

SP Group’s strategy chief Goh Chee Kiong told media that drivers feared running “out of juice” and a proper charging network was crucial for “peace of mind”. 

SP Group invited offers for the contracts to provide the AC and DC power points. 

Drivers would be able to pay electronically and check the availability of charging points with an app which would give alerts when the charging was completed, the firm said. 

The first 30 charging points are due to be set up at the end of the year, according to the firm. 

In May, Singapore was reported to have more than 350 EVs.

“Singapore is regarded as an ideal environment for EVs as it is highly urbanised and compact,” SP said. 

“This pervasive charging network will plug a critical gap in scaling up EV adoption in Singapore by reducing range anxiety in EV drivers,” the firm added.

Power provider Red Dot Power earlier this year announced a partnership with PlugIT, a Finnish charging firm, to install at least 50 charging stations in Singapore by the end of next year.

Musk 

Elon said Singapore was not supportive to EV adoption after an opinion piece in the Straits Times criticised his social-media post.

“Singapore is a very prosperous city and yet has very few electric cars,” Musk tweeted in response to an open letter from the newspaper’s transport correspondent under the headline, “Please get off your high horse”. 

Musk started the row when he told a Singaporean who wanted to buy a Tesla that the firm faced official obstacles. 

“We tried, but Singapore govt is not supportive of electric vehicles,” Musk tweeted. 

The Paypal founder also said Singapore had the potential to generate most of its electricity through solar energy. “No more need to import fossil fuels for electricity, which is a strategic vulnerability,” the Tesla chief tweeted. 

 

Singapore has great potential for electric car take up. Picture credit: Flickr