Electric dreams: Singapore's journey to cleaner mobility quickens

The Republic plans to 'green' its roads by 2040. Insight looks at past attempts, gauges motorists' readiness to electrify and examines policies necessary for the sea change.

Electric vehicle charging points in Singapore will grow from the current 1,600 to 28,000 by 2030, according to the recent Budget statement. Mr Joe Nguyen, who imported a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong in 2016, was shocked when the electric car was slap
Electric vehicle charging points in Singapore will grow from the current 1,600 to 28,000 by 2030, according to the recent Budget statement. LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO
Electric vehicle charging points in Singapore will grow from the current 1,600 to 28,000 by 2030, according to the recent Budget statement. Mr Joe Nguyen, who imported a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong in 2016, was shocked when the electric car was slap
Mass adoption of plug-in hybrid cars, along with a heavier tax on petrol, could nudge motorists towards electric vehicles, says transport economist Walter Theseira. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Electric vehicle charging points in Singapore will grow from the current 1,600 to 28,000 by 2030, according to the recent Budget statement. Mr Joe Nguyen, who imported a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong in 2016, was shocked when the electric car was slap
Mr Joe Nguyen, who imported a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong in 2016, was shocked when the electric car was slapped with a $15,000 carbon surcharge. ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore was probably ahead of the curve when it embarked on an initiative in 2001 to explore new energy technologies for transport.

The move led to a number of test beds, including one with a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell cars - a type of electric vehicle - from 2004 to 2006. A hydrogen station was set up in the east to refuel the fleet of six Mercedes-Benz A-class F-Cells.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 01, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore's journey to cleaner mobility quickens'. Print Edition | Subscribe