A proposal to ensure adequate charging spots for electric cars

Tesla cars being charged outside a shopping mall in Beijing in 2017.
Tesla cars being charged outside a shopping mall in Beijing in 2017.PHOTO: AFP

I read with interest the response from Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to entrepreneur Elon Musk's comment on the lack of support by the Singapore Government concerning electric vehicles (Musk's Tesla electric cars are about 'lifestyle', not climate: Masagos, ST Online, Aug 22).

Mr Masagos cited the difficulty in ensuring there is equitable sharing of vehicle electric charging slots.

I would like to propose an approach for those who do not remove their fully-charged vehicles from the charging station.

After a 30-minute grace period, vehicle owners who do not vacate the charging station will accumulate a "charging time" debt equal to the additional time they have incurred. This will go towards reducing the amount of time they can charge in their next charging session.

Those who are more civic-minded get reward points which can be exchanged for free charging, corresponding to the amount of time that they "saved" from the 30 minutes grace period.

Although Tesla cars have remote notification of charging status, we can also build such notifications into the charging stations.

We can even use blockchain technology to record such usage across disparate charging networks.

I believe the technology is available here and now to realise what I have proposed above. It just requires the will to do it.

Ng Jit Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2019, with the headline 'A proposal to ensure adequate charging spots for electric cars'. Print Edition | Subscribe