With more Singaporeans concerned about rising petrol costs, road congestion, noise pollution and protecting the environment, we can expect to see electric vehicles (EVs) forming the bulk of our vehicle population in the coming years.
Richard Chin, General Manager of ChargEco, is introducing the EV lifestyle to Singaporeans, one charging station at a time. The EV Charge Point Operator recently made its EV chargers available at all seven SAFRA clubs, and SAFRA members can now charge their cars conveniently while enjoying SAFRA club facilities, and get a 5% member discount off their charging costs, too.
Here, Richard shares why more Singaporeans are embracing the EV lifestyle.
Q: How exactly does an EV work?
Richard: Like the name suggests, EVs are powered by electricity. Open up the hood of an EV and you won’t find the engine. The battery is usually hidden under the floor of the vehicle. EVs are driven the same way as a non-EV – but they deliver a smoother, quieter, and cleaner drive. EVs are gaining popularity in Singapore as an eco-friendly and sustainable mode of transport.
Q: What should we consider before deciding to buy an EV?
Richard: Fuel costs and environmental impact are two popular reasons to switch to EVs. Think about how the car will fit into your current lifestyle and driving/usage frequency. Just like how a petrol tank has to be refuelled, EVs need to be recharged. Check out charging points near your home or office to plan your charging schedule in advance.
Q: What are some common myths about EVs you’d like to dispel?
Richard: There are a few:
Myth 1: EVs are expensive
The upfront cost of buying an EV is higher but this has been mitigated with incentives by the government, such as S$20K from the Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and another S$25k from the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES). In terms of running costs, a full tank of petrol can cost you more than S$150 while getting a full charge for the same mileage is only around S$30.
Myth 2: EVs are troublesome to charge
Worried that you cannot find a charger before your EV battery runs out? This is commonly referred to as “range anxiety”, but you needn’t worry about it in Singapore. Since the country is small, we don’t have to make long drives, plus, there’s a fast-growing network of chargers islandwide so your next charge is easily accessible. About 60,000 EV charging points are set to be installed by 2030, under the Singapore Green Plan 2030. It is also easy to locate, charge, and monitor your EV charging status conveniently on your phone.
Myth 3: EVs are unsafe
EVs approved for sale in Singapore have certified automotive standards and battery management systems in place to mitigate safety risks such as electrical fires and mechanical failure.
Q: What are the main benefits of driving an EV compared to a non-EV car?
- Cost: You save on fuel costs in the long run, as the cost of charging an EV is lower than pumping petrol.
- Environmental: An EV emits 50% less carbon dioxide than a similar Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle. By choosing to drive an EV, you reduce the amount of harmful carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, helping to create a safer world for future generations to enjoy.
- Lifestyle: EVs fit into your busy lifestyle because they are relatively low maintenance. Explore new locations while finding your favourite charging points – there are many food, recreation or retail options nearby waiting to be discovered.
- Driving style and personal preferences: Some people don’t like the smell of petrol fumes, so EVs are a great, cleaner alternative. Many EV drivers also find that the car is much quieter and smoother, with better torque performance.
- Safety: Other than the EV’s own voltage safety systems, EV chargers are also subject to stringent safety standards. There are different levels of measures in place to protect users. EV chargers are safe to use even on rainy days.
Q: How often do EVs require charging and where can drivers go to charge up?
Richard: EVs don’t need to be charged that frequently if you’re a private car user. According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), a full charge should last at least five days, based on the average mileage of private cars in Singapore. Even taxi drivers who drive long distances every day usually charge once or twice a day during their meal or break times. With over 150 ChargEco charging points islandwide (and more coming soon!), you’ll spend less time worrying about your next charge and more time enjoying the perks of an EV lifestyle. You can find your nearest charging point conveniently via our app.
Q: What might happen to your EV if you can’t charge it in time and the battery goes flat?
Richard: All EVs have an in-built battery level indicator and will usually alert drivers in advance before the battery runs flat. There are also companies that provide mobile EV charging services (including emergency EV charging services) using an electric van.
Q: Can you tell us about ChargEco and how it’s helping to make the lives of EV owners more convenient?
Richard: ChargEco is supporting the Singapore Green Plan 2030 by bringing convenient EV charging to the heartlands. You can find our chargers in public car parks, residential estates and commercial and retail buildings – including in all SAFRA clubhouses. We were the first EV Charging Point Operator to complete the inaugural batch of HDB car park EV charging points under LTA’s large-scale tender awarded in November 2022, where we will be installing chargers to serve drivers in the Central and East regions.
We want to offer EV drivers “Power Beyond Charging” and add value to their EV lifestyle. Our focus is on providing reliable, affordable charging services, while expanding our charger network at the same time. That way, EV drivers can drive with peace of mind, knowing that they can easily drop by our charging stations for a reliable charge when needed.
To ease the transition into the EV community, we have created step-by-step user guides for new drivers. Check out our social media for tips on how to use an EV charger, safety and best practices, and even how to download and enjoy discounts on our app. We also conduct community engagements with residents and stakeholders when launching new chargers.
EV charging etiquette tips
- Use a designated EV charging lot and disconnect your vehicle as soon as your charge is complete, says Richard. Remember, the EV charging lot is not a parking space; other drivers may need access to the charger, too.
- You don’t always have to charge up to 100%. In fact, it is recommended to charge your EV to 80% as charging beyond 80% frequently may decrease the lifespan of the battery. This also gives other drivers the chance to plug in. Richard reminds you to stay connected with your charging session even when you’re away from your vehicle. Monitor your charge conveniently and easily with the ChargEco app.
- Look after the charger. Leave it in the condition you found it in – Richard says to securely place the connector in its charger holster to protect it from damage and keep other EV drivers safe from tripping hazards.
SAFRA members enjoy 5% off EV Charging at ChargEco Electric Vehicle charging stations in SAFRA clubs. Find out more here!
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