Many reasons to go electric

It is very encouraging to see that national utility company Singapore Power is replacing an entire fleet of 400 service vehicles with electric vans ("Singapore Power plugs for electric service fleet"; Tuesday).

This is a positive step in the right direction, and it is hoped that more corporations will follow suit, and reduce their carbon footprint.

One problem, though, is the lack of charging stations across the island. This is a basic infrastructure requirement in the use of electric vehicles.

The Government has a role to play in providing this infrastructure, and I don't see any reason for it to hold back, as electric vehicles provide many benefits.

First, there is no emission of pollutants, as there is no fuel burned and hence no exhaust.

Second, less heat is emitted. Electric vehicles do not get hot like normal vehicles do. There is no internal combustion engine and no mechanical pistons working furiously inside cylinders to produce the energy required to drive the vehicle.

The heat generated by conventional vehicles on our roads raises the ambient temperature beyond what meteorologists forecast it to be.

Third, noise pollution is reduced. Normal vehicles have internal combustion engines which basically work mechanically at high pressure. Therefore, despite all the oil and lubrication used, they still produce a lot of noise. Electric vehicles run on motors which are a lot quieter.

In fact, these motors are switched off completely when the vehicle is stationary; there is no idling.

Singapore is an ideal country for the use of electric vehicles. The motor drive technology is far more efficient, hence producing less heat, less noise and no pollution.

I hope the Land Transport Authority will take more concrete steps to encourage the use of this new technology which stands to benefit all Singaporeans.

Sohindar Mohan Singh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Many reasons to go electric'. Print Edition | Subscribe