Opening Remarks by Senior Minister of State for Transport, Amy Khor at the Singapore Green Plan Conversation on Energy Reset

09 Apr 2022Speeches
1.     Welcome to MOT and LTA’s Green Plan Conversation. 

a.     Last year, we introduced the Singapore Green Plan 2030 – a whole-of-nation movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. 

b.     Since the second half of last year, we have been holding a series of Green Plan Conversations, to gather views and co-create solutions to build a sustainable Singapore. 

c.     Today’s Conversation is about the Energy Reset pillar of the Green Plan.

2.     There is great potential for Singapore to decarbonise its energy sector over the next decade. 

a.     The Government is working with private sector players to enhance the energy and carbon efficiency of our natural gas power plants.

b.     We are also accelerating the deployment of low-carbon energy solutions such as solar energy. 

Transforming Our Vehicle Population 

3.     For the transport sector, one needle mover will be transiting from a fuel-based vehicle population to an electricity-based one. 

a.     In Singapore, electric cars generate 50% less carbon emissions than internal combustion engine, or ICE, cars today. Our vision is for all vehicles to run on cleaner energy by 2040. 

b.     We are seeing some early signs of a shift to EVs. Last year, new electric car registrations formed 3.8% of all new car registrations, an increase of almost twenty-fold compared to 2020. I am happy to share that in the first quarter of this year, new electric car registrations have continued to grow, and are now at 8.1% of all new car registrations. This is more than twice last year’s figure. 

c.     With this new wave of electric car registrations, we now have around 3,600 electric cars on our roads, and around 2,500 charging points in Singapore.

4.     However, many of us may hold back from buying an EV for various reasons.

a.     First, cost. Today, the upfront cost of electric cars is generally more expensive than a comparable ICE car, though the cost difference is much smaller for mass market models.

b.     Second, there is currently a lack of EV models across the whole passenger vehicle spectrum. 

c.     Finally, concerns about the availability of charging infrastructure. Many of us are still not familiar with where to find charging points, or how to get chargers installed at our residences. 

5.     These are valid considerations. Driving an EV will after all require some adjustments – motorists will need to pick up new mindsets, habits and behaviours. 

MOT/LTA’s Efforts to Promote EV Adoption

6.     MOT and LTA have made it a priority to address these concerns on cost and charging. Many of our recent efforts directly address these.

a.     First, on cost. 

i.     To make electric cars more affordable, we have introduced incentives  and changes to road tax for EVs. 

b.     Second, on charging infrastructure. 

i.     Yesterday, LTA launched a large-scale tender for the deployment of charging points at HDB carparks. This will allow all HDB carparks, nearly 2,000 of them, to have 3 to 12 charging points per carpark by 2025, depending on demand and electrical capacity. Across Singapore, we estimate that this will mean an additional 12,000 charging points in the coming years. Very soon, the charging points will become ubiquitous across all HDB estates, and EV users will be able to charge their cars at any of these points.

c.     Later in today’s programme, my colleagues will be sharing an overview of our efforts in this area. 

d.     We will be releasing a promotional video today, for the national EV campaign which you can watch afterwards. This promotional video reminds each of us that we can drive towards a more sustainable Singapore by changing the way we move – hence the tagline – “Power EVery Move”.

Building a Community of Gracious and Responsible EV Users

7.     Each of us, as drivers, indeed have a part to play. 

8.     We sometimes hear concerns on whether EV charging lots will be “hogged” for extended parking. It could be an ICE car wrongly parked in a charging lot. Or perhaps some EVs may stay plugged into a charger even after they are done charging. 

a.     Such behaviour is not beneficial for everyone. It means the charging network will be less efficient, and charging costs will be higher for all.

9.     Here at MOT and LTA, we are reviewing existing parking regulations in public carparks to ensure that EV lots are only used for charging. In LTA’s latest EV charging point tender, EV charging operators are also encouraged to propose solutions to incentivise EV users to remove their vehicle once they are done charging. I note that some EV charging operators already plan to impose idle fees for EVs that are parked long after charging is completed. 

10.    But beyond this, it is important that we build and promote a culture of responsible and gracious EV charging. Here are two tips I have learnt recently.

a.     Tip 1: Plan your charging sessions. 

i.     I do not mean creating an elaborate plan. But rather, plan your charging based on your daily activities and schedule, so that charging becomes simple and convenient. Some EV drivers, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are already doing so today, by charging during lunch or breaks. 

ii.    For most of us, we will only need one long charge of about five to six hours once every 5 to 7 days. This could be when you are at work, or any other place for an extended period of time. For most, this will mean charging the car overnight when back at home. Wherever you may be, you will be able to locate a charging point near you using the MyTransport SG App.

b.     Tip 2: Charge in moderation.

i.     It is not necessary to keep your EV in a high state of charge, or beyond 80% state of charge, all the time. Just like how most motorists today do not see the need to visit the petrol station if their car still has half a tank of fuel. In fact, charging beyond 80% becomes slower and more inefficient. 

ii.    As I said earlier, charging your EV should revolve around your daily schedule, and not the other way round. So if you have finished work, and return to your car to find it 80% charged, there is no need to wait till it is 100% - the 80% charge will bring you a long way, to the next time it is convenient to charge again.

iii.   And as far as possible, plan your charging session so that you do not stay parked for too long after your EV is done charging. Let another EV user have the chance to use the charging point. For example, if you charge at work in the morning, move your car during lunch. For those that charge overnight, this does not mean getting up in the middle of the night to move your car – but to do so the next morning when you are up! 

c.     In today’s Conversation, I look forward to hearing more about how we can develop a gracious culture among drivers on parking and charging. 

11.    Our transition to EVs must be a whole-of-society effort. The benefits of green transport extend beyond the users. 

a.     Commuters too can play a part by showing support for electric buses, taxis and private hire cars which can give them smoother and greener rides. Ultimately, everyone will benefit from a cleaner and quieter environment.

b.     So for those of us who do not drive and currently do not intend to buy a car, I am keen to hear your experience on taking cleaner energy public transport, such as electric buses, taxis or private hire cars. I would also be interested to know if you would, for instance, be willing to pay slightly more for a ride on cleaner energy public transport, for the benefit this brings to the environment. 

12.    We look forward to hearing everyone’s views today, and for more Singaporeans to join in future conversations. Thank you.

You may also like