5,000 BlueSG electric car rentals in first 3 weeks of service

BlueSG launched in Singapore on Dec 12 with 80 vehicles and 32 charging stations. By 2020, the goal is to have 1,000 of such green cars, along with 500 charging locations offering 2,000 charging points - making BlueSG the second-largest electric-car
BlueSG launched in Singapore on Dec 12 with 80 vehicles and 32 charging stations. By 2020, the goal is to have 1,000 of such green cars, along with 500 charging locations offering 2,000 charging points - making BlueSG the second-largest electric-car sharing programme in the world.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

More than 3,300 people have signed up for electric car-sharing service BlueSG, with 5,000 rentals in its first three weeks of operation, the company said yesterday.

BlueSG launched in Singapore on Dec 12 with 80 vehicles and 32 charging stations.

Mr Franck Vitte, managing director of BlueSG, said he was "very encouraged and heartened by the overwhelming response", adding: "We are looking at quickly deploying more stations islandwide."

BlueSG had earlier told The Straits Times it had chalked up more than 100 rentals in the first three hours after the launch.

Users can rent one of the 80 battery-powered hatchbacks, drive to their destinations, and drop the car off at any of the 32 charging locations in housing estates, the city, one-north business park and Science Park. A BlueSG spokesman said 10 new stations are being built.

By 2020, the goal is to have 1,000 of such green cars, along with 500 charging locations offering 2,000 charging points - making BlueSG the second-largest electric-car sharing programme in the world.

About 80 per cent of the charging points are expected to be in residential areas, with 20 per cent of all points available to the public to charge other private electric cars.

BlueSG is a subsidiary of the Bollore Group, which also has about 4,000 electric vehicles under the Autolib car-sharing service in Paris.

It has expanded to other cities, such as Indianapolis in the United States - where there are about 280 cars under the BlueIndy service - and London, where it has 100 cars under the BlueCity brand.

Responding to questions about pictures on social media of damaged and faulty BlueSG cars -including photos of one of its cars being towed away - a spokesman for the French firm said: "With more than 5,000 trips to date, it is expected that there will be a few incidents, as there are with personal cars."

BlueSG declined to give the exact number of accidents involving its vehicles.

Under BlueSG's terms and conditions, users found to be responsible for damaging the cars are liable to pay for the damage, and will be suspended from the service until they make payment.

One user, executive Chua Yong Peng, 35, said he hopes the service can be expanded, noting that it can be difficult to get a car in the evenings and to get through to customer service to report issues. He said: "At times, it took about 10 minutes for them to pick up a call."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline '5,000 BlueSG electric car rentals in first 3 weeks of service'. Print Edition | Subscribe