Parliament: S'pore needs more than the planned 28,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2030, says Ong Ye Kung

The population of electric cars on the road as of January 2020 is about 1,125. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The plan to have 28,000 charging points for electric vehicles by 2030 is "not ideal", said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday (Oct 14), when he announced that commercial entities could be roped in to help build up this infrastructure.

Currently, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with various agencies to make sure there are more such charging points, he said in a written parliamentary reply to Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok).

Singapore now has 1,700 charging points while the population of electric cars on the road as at January 2020 is about 1,125.

This pool of cars is fewer than 0.2 per cent of the total private car population, which stands at about 600,000.

But by 2030, Mr Ong said electric vehicles could form one-third of the private car population. This means each of the 28,000 charging points will have to be shared among eight such cars.

"LTA is therefore reviewing the current plan with other agencies... with a view to bring down the electric vehicle per charging point ratio," Mr Ong said. "That way, we can better support the growth of electric vehicles in Singapore."

Experts have previously said Singapore's sparse charging infrastructure is a key obstacle in the way of motorists switching to electric vehicles. One charger can support only one electric vehicle if everyone expects to do overnight home charging.

Singapore is trying to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, in part by encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

In Budget 2020, tax rebates and incentives for early adopters are being offered to make electric cars more attractive from next year.

On Wednesday, Mr Ong also said all 28,000 charging points will be in government-related locations: two-thirds will be in HDB estates across Singapore while the remaining one-third will be by the roadside or in places like government-owned carparks.

Charging points that are privately installed by residents in private estates and in shopping centres are not included in the 28,000.

Separately, the LTA and HDB have looked at about 1,200 HDB carparks and found that only one-third can readily support overnight electric vehicle charging.

The remaining 800 will need some upgrading of the switch room or substation, the minister added.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed a Hyundai automated factory in Jurong that will be completed by end-2022 and which is expected to produce up to 30,000 electric vehicles every year.

They will first be marketed for the local market but observers have said Singapore is unlikely to absorb all of them.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.