The future of transport is electric

It is exciting to read that the Government is doing more to promote the use of electric vehicles here (Electric-vehicle sharing to hit the roads in December; Sept 28).

Electric vehicles can convert about 60 per cent of electrical energy from the power grid to useful power, compared to conventional gasoline vehicles' 21 per cent from the energy stored in petrol.

This makes electric vehicles more energy efficient, producing less carbon dioxide per kilometre.

With the push for the use of renewable energy and making electricity greener, electric vehicles are the future of transportation around the world.

General Motors, Ford, Volvo and the Volkswagen Group have announced multi-billion dollar plans to ramp up electric vehicle research and development.

Some are even planning to phase out petrol-powered vehicles for an "all-electric future".

We can learn much from countries like Norway, where almost a third of all cars sold last year were electric.

One of the main reasons for Norway's success in this area is the generous government subsidies.

Electric cars also enjoy free parking and exemptions from purchasing taxes.

It is impossible for land-scarce Singapore to do away with road tax or other such tolls to control car numbers, but the Government could introduce a lower carbon tax for electric vehicles and welcome major vehicle makers to build charging stations here.

The commercial and public transport sector could also be incentivised to systematically replace their older vehicles with electric vehicles.

It is only when the Government recognises that electric vehicles are the future of transportation that we will be able to achieve a more economically and environmentally sustainable future.

Phang Ye Sheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2017, with the headline 'The future of transport is electric'. Print Edition | Subscribe