Viewed : 10,339 times

Electric vehicles are the next big thing and it'll inevitably be the future of motoring, but will it be the same for us Singaporeans?

23 Mar 2023

Of course I love my internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, especially those with big engines. The smell, the sound, the excitement, everything. But electric vehicles (EVs) are the inevitable future and as much of a petrolhead that I am, I intend to embrace instead of exclude them.

As a matter of fact, between you and me, I cannot wait for EVs to fill our roads. But as I board the plane thinking about the electric SUV that I just drove - the Lexus RZ - I cannot help but wonder if Singaporeans are ready for EVs.

Let's talk pure EVs first

Full-electric cars need to be adopted to reduce gas emissions in Singapore
As concerns over climate change and environmental pollution continue to grow, governments around the world are implementing policies and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and promoting sustainable transportation. One of the ways in which this is being achieved is through the adoption of EVs. That's simply because they have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of gas emissions produced by the transportation sector.

In Singapore, the government has set ambitious targets to phase out ICE vehicles by 2040, and by that definition, these are vehicles that are purely limited to petrol-powered cars with zero electrification. Hence, fully electric cars as well as hybrid vehicles - including mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids - are likely to play a key role in achieving this goal.

But let's talk about the future first: Pure EVs.

Fully-electric cars are great to drive, especially with their instant acceleration
There are several reasons why fully electric cars are the future for drivers in Singapore. We all know that electric cars are much more environmentally-friendly than their ICE counterparts. They produce zero emissions when in use, which means that they have the potential to drastically reduce Singapore's carbon footprint and improve air quality in the city. Considering how densely populated Singapore is becoming, this is particularly important, methinks.

In addition to their environmental benefits, electric cars also offer a number of advantages in terms of performance and convenience. For one, they are generally quieter and smoother to drive than ICE vehicles. Secondly, their instant torque and acceleration make them highly responsive on the road. And lastly, they are arguably and theoretically cheaper to operate than ICE vehicles, with significantly lower fuel costs and maintenance requirements.

However, while electric cars may be the future globally, Singaporeans may not be ready for them at the moment due to several factors.

There's that current infrastructure problem...

Singapore targets to have 60,000 charging stations around the island by 2030
One reason for this is the lack of infrastructure to support them. While Singapore has made significant progress in promoting EVs, which includes the building of charging stations, the infrastructure is still not as robust as in some other countries. This makes it difficult for Singaporeans to rely solely on electric cars for their transportation needs.

It is worth noting that the Singapore government has plans to build more charging stations to support the increasing adoption of EVs. In fact, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), there will be 60,000 charging stations by 2030 around the island. This is a significant increase from the current number of charging stations, which stands at more than 3,600.

This move to increase the number of charging stations is a positive step towards encouraging the adoption of EVs. With more charging stations available, Singaporeans will be more confident in their ability to charge their vehicles when needed. This could help to address concerns about range anxiety and make electric vehicles a more attractive option for consumers.

It's still too expensive, no?

The Volvo XC40 Recharge (pictured) is pricier than its ICE counterpart
However, despite these efforts, it may still take some time for electric cars to gain widespread adoption in Singapore. Consumers may need more time to become familiar with the technology, and the higher cost of EVs compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles may still be a stumbling block for some consumers.

While the cost of EVs has been decreasing over the years, they are still more expensive than traditional gas-powered vehicles. This is due in part to the cost of the batteries, which are a key component of EVs. For many Singaporeans, the higher cost of these vehicles may be a barrier to adoption.

Education about perception is key...

Singaporeans generally perceive EVs to be less reliable and more unfamiliar than ICE cars
There is also a perception among some Singaporeans that electric cars are less reliable than ICE vehicles. While this may have been true in the past, modern electric cars are highly advanced and offer excellent performance and reliability. However, it may take some time for Singaporeans to overcome their scepticism and embrace electric cars.

Or, it could also be the case where Singaporeans may not be ready for electric cars due to a lack of familiarity with the technology. While EVs have been around for several years, they are still relatively new compared to ICE vehicles, which have been around for over a century. Many Singaporeans may not be familiar with the technology behind electric cars, which could make them hesitant to adopt to something new.

Range anxiety is another hurdle Singaporeans need to overcome
Then there is range anxiety. This is the fear that an EV will run out of power before reaching its destination, and it is a common concern among potential EV buyers. While modern electric cars have a longer range than before, they still may not be suitable for long-distance travel, especially across the border where looking for a charging station can be problematic due to unfamiliarity. This can be a concern for Singaporeans, who may enjoy travelling long distances for leisure.

Here's hoping for a cleaner future

So while electric cars may be the future globally, Singaporeans may not be ready for them at the moment. However, as Singapore continues to promote EVs and build the necessary infrastructure, it is very likely that EVs will become a mainstream choice for consumers.

Between you and me, I cannot wait for that to happen.

You may also like

1-10 of 20