Tesla update shows site of planned supercharger here

US electric car maker shows black location arrow in S'pore in network update this week

Worldwide, Tesla has some 20,000 superchargers across more than 4,500 locations.
Worldwide, Tesla has some 20,000 superchargers across more than 4,500 locations.PHOTO: AFP

American electric car maker Tesla has indicated the location of its first supercharger in Singapore, and it appears it is at the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC).

In its recent update of its charging network worldwide, Tesla showed a black location arrow in Singapore (black indicates planned charger, while operational chargers are marked in red), sitting on SICC grounds.

This reaffirms the firm's intention to return to Singapore - a move first reported by The Straits Times in 2016. But since then, there has been little development, aside from Tesla boss Elon Musk's occasional tweets about how unsupportive Singapore has been to electric cars, and "unwelcome" to Tesla, in particular. It had opened a sales office here in 2010, only to pull the plug less than a year later.

Things started to move when Tesla posted Singapore job openings on LinkedIn in mid-2020. In the fourth quarter last year, it followed up with an opening for a charging manager, indicating it intends to set up its own charging network here. And in the latest charging network update early this week, it showed a Singapore location.

Tesla could not be reached for media queries as it no longer has a press department. Checks revealed SICC has not been approached by Tesla for the said charging station.

According to US-based news website Electrek, not all of Tesla's planned charging points will materialise. "Each station is dependent on Tesla finding a property to deploy the station, making an agreement with the property owner, acquiring the right permits, and securing" a local power supply, it says.

While some observers said the SICC location made sense because club members are likely to be able to afford Tesla cars which range from around $230,000 to $500,000, others said Tesla is unlikely to site its first charger somewhere inaccessible to the general public.

Tesla owner Adrian Peh said the building of chargers here will benefit potential Tesla buyers who live in high-rises which do not have charging infrastructure. "My condo already has a charger," said the 48-year-old chief executive of a financial advisory firm. "Personally, I am more interested in when they will set up a service centre here."

Worldwide, Tesla has some 20,000 superchargers across more than 4,500 locations. A supercharger is a 480-volt direct current fast charger which can power up a car in as quickly as half an hour, compared with several hours for normal chargers.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2021, with the headline 'Tesla update shows site of planned supercharger here'. Subscribe