Tesla sets up electric vehicle charging points in Orchard Central; condos may apply for grant to install chargers

Tesla superchargers at Orchard Central carpark on July 19, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Users of electric vehicles (EVs) will have easier access to chargers soon as Singapore steps up its push to get more motorists to choose this less polluting option.

Applications open this month (July) for a grant that subsidises the installation of charging points in non-landed private residences.

Electric car maker Tesla has set up three charging points at the carpark located on the ninth level of Orchard Central. It will set up more in the coming months.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said on Monday (July 19) that Tesla's charging points were installed under a regulatory sandbox by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Mr Iswaran, who was speaking at a media event held by Sembcorp, said LTA launched the scheme this month to accommodate technologies that are on track to be included in Singapore's national charging standard.

He said LTA has been engaging companies to submit specific sandbox applications for case-by-case assessment.

Mr Iswaran said the Tesla V3 supercharger, which is only for Tesla vehicles, is expected to shorten charging time to 15 minutes. Typical EV chargers can take up to a few hours to charge a car.

The grant to subsidise the installation of EV chargers in condominiums and other non-landed private residences will open for applications on July 29.

The Electric Vehicle Common Charger Grant is aimed at building up charging infrastructure in eligible residences. Through it, LTA will co-fund installation costs of 2,000 EV chargers as an early adoption incentive.

The grant was announced in March during the Ministry of Transport's budget debate.

On Monday, LTA said: "As non-landed private residences form a significant proportion of residences in Singapore, improving charger provision is an important step towards improving the coverage of Singapore's national EV charging network."

Mr Iswaran, announcing the launch date of the grant, encouraged condominium residents to "seize this opportunity to ensure that their car parks are future-ready".

He said that EV charging infrastructure in private premises currently accounts for one-third of some 2,000 charging points in Singapore, but most of them are in commercial developments like shopping malls.

Tesla superchargers at Orchard Central carpark, on July 19, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Owners of the EV chargers, whether a charging operator or owners of the residences, can apply for the grant to cover three upfront cost components of charger installation. These are the charging stem, licensed electrical worker fees, and cabling and installation costs.

The grant will co-fund 50 per cent of the three cost components, subject to an overall cap of $4,000 per charger.

The chargers must have smart charging functions that can monitor and react to energy consumption information.

The grant will be allowed for installation of chargers at only up to 1 per cent of residential carpark spaces within each non-landed private residential development.

LTA said the installation of EV chargers at landed properties, shophouses, hotels, hostels, serviced apartments and workers' dormitories would not be covered under the grant's conditions.

The grant will be available until Dec 31, 2023 or until 2,000 chargers have been approved for co-funding, whichever is earlier.

Those who are interested can visit the LTA website for more details or apply via the Government's business grant portal.

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