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Speech by Minister for Transport, S Iswaran at the Opening Ceremony of Sembwaste’s Electric Vehicle Charging Hub

19 Jul 2021 Speeches

Mr Wong Kim Yin, Group President & CEO, Sembcorp Industries,
 
Mr Koh Chiap Khiong, CEO for Singapore & Southeast Asia, Sembcorp Industries, Mr Neo Hong Keat, Managing Director, SembWaste,
 
Colleagues from Sembcorp, SembWaste, LTA, NEA and MOT,
 
1.     A very good morning to all of you. I am delighted to celebrate this significant milestone in SembWaste’s journey to adopt electric vehicles. The launch of this fleet of 24 electric waste collection trucks is supported by the opening, here at Tuas Depot, of this new EV fast charging hub with 18 charging points. With this, 20% of SembWaste’s fleet operating in two sectors – Clementi-Bukit Merah and City-Punggol – would have gone electric.
 
2.     There are nearly a million vehicles on our roads today, and our vision is for all of them to run on cleaner energy by 2040, in about two decades. Given Singapore’s national effort to go green and electrify our vehicle population, SembWaste’s effort is significant, for two reasons.
 
3.     First, the reduction in emissions from electrification is greater for heavy vehicles, than for light vehicles like cars.
 
a.     Heavy vehicles comprise less than a tenth of our vehicle population, but account for nearly half the carbon emissions (3 out of 6.4 million tonnes of CO2 in total).
 
b.     On average, electrification cuts carbon emissions as well as ambient noise from vehicles by at least half.
 
4.     Second, the electrification of such commercial fleet vehicles will help to spur EV adoption.
 
a.     As fleet vehicles are more frequently used and have higher mileage than the average passenger vehicle, their electrification will have a greater impact.
 
b.     Fleets that are electrified early could also catalyse the growth of our charger network, which in turn will help to support broader EV adoption.
 
5.     I want to commend SembWaste on taking the lead and showing the way forward.
 
6.     Today’s event also highlights the importance of public-private partnership for smooth and effective EV adoption. Over the next two decades, the shift to electric vehicles will gather significant momentum as prices fall, and as a greater variety of models become available. The entire value chain must adapt to this transition – from vehicle sales and engineering, to charging infrastructure and user behavior.
 
7.     On the part of the Government, we have laid out our key strategies to support the EV transformation.
 
a.     On vehicle costs, we have narrowed the upfront cost gap between EVs and Internal Combustion Engine vehicles through the EV Early Adoption Incentive and the enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme.
 
b.     On charging infrastructure, we have announced our aim to deploy 60,000 charging points by 2030.
 
c.     On regulations, we have vested the Land Transport Authority with new statutory functions governing EVs and EV charging, including the setting of technical standards for chargers. These will take effect on 29 July 2021.
 
8.     The Government is also leading by example. Under the “GreenGov.SG” effort announced last week by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu:
 
a.     All new cars procured by the Government will be cleaner energy models from 2023 – seven years ahead of our national policy for all new car and taxi registrations to be of cleaner energy models from 2030; and
 
b.     All government cars will run on cleaner energy by 2035 – five years ahead of our national 2040 vision to achieve the same.
 
9.     The private sector is a key stakeholder and essential partner in driving EV adoption and expanding the charging network. I am therefore happy to announce today two new Government initiatives that will support and partner the private sector to spur EV adoption.
 
10.    The first is an EV charger regulatory sandbox that will help to foster a pro- innovation regulatory environment.
 
11.    With the global shift to EVs, the progress of charging technology has accelerated. New charging solutions have emerged, and many fall outside the scope of our national charging standard, which is known as Technical Reference 25 (TR25).
 
12.    LTA is leading a comprehensive review of TR25 in partnership with industry players and technical experts. It will study the potential introduction of standards for newer fixed charging systems, such as high-powered chargers and swappable batteries for electric motorcycles.
 
13.    This review will be concluded by the end of the year. The updated TR25 will help us develop our charging network on a safe and future-ready foundation. Meanwhile, many companies are already making plans to introduce novel charging technologies.
 
14.    Therefore, earlier this month, LTA launched an EV charger regulatory sandbox to accommodate novel technologies that are on track to be included in TR25.
 
a.     LTA has been engaging companies to submit specific sandbox applications for case-by-case assessment, and to work out the detailed operating conditions.
 
b.     One example is Tesla’s V3 supercharger, which would be a unique service offering for Tesla owners. With these new superchargers, Tesla expects charging times to drop to around 15 minutes. The sandbox for Tesla will be launched today, and will commence with 3 charging points in Orchard Central, with more to come in the next few months.
 
15.    Second, we will launch a grant scheme to spur the growth of our charging network.
 
16.    Work on the charging network in public carparks is already underway.
 
a.     In the coming weeks, URA and LTA expect to announce the results of the November 2020 pilot tender for the first 600 or so charging points.
 
b.     LTA has also just concluded a Request for Information exercise and is studying the views from industry players on the market structure for developing and operating charging infrastructure.
 
17.    We have seen some early progress in the development of charging infrastructure in private premises, which account for one-third of the roughly 2,000 charging points in Singapore today. However, most of these are in commercial developments like shopping malls. There is room to promote the installation of shared chargers in non-landed private residences like condominiums and private apartments, which account for the bulk of private residences in Singapore.
 
18.    For this reason, earlier this year, it was announced that we would introduce an EV Common Charger Grant, or ECCG. I am pleased to announce that this scheme will be open for application from 29 July 2021.
 
a.     Under the scheme, LTA will co-fund half the cost of deploying an initial number of smart chargers in each development, subject to a cap of $4,000 per charger.
 
b.     The scheme will last until the end of 2023, limited to 2,000 chargers. LTA will release further details today.
 
19.    I encourage condominium residents to seize this opportunity to ensure that their car parks are future-ready.
 
20.    As we shift gears and transit into an electrified vehicle landscape, there will be many economic opportunities for our companies and workers.
 
21.    From the incentives announced earlier this year, to the regulatory sandbox for charging solutions and ECCG that I spoke about today, we will continue to work in close partnership with businesses on this electrification journey, and bring about a cleaner, greener transport system for the benefit of all Singaporeans.
 
22.    I want to wish the Sembcorp and SembWaste team every success as you embark on this important and exciting venture. We look forward to closer and deeper partnership with all of our private-sector partners on this electrification journey. Thank you very much for inviting me.