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Singapore looks to electric vehicles

Jack Loo | May 7, 2009
Test-bedding programme a start as government seeks to explore widespread use of such automobiles

SINGAPORE, 7 MAY 2009 - The Singapore government is looking at the possibility of largescale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) with a three-year test-bedding programme starting 2010.

One key attraction of EV for the government is that these automobiles offer a greener and cleaner alternative to the traditional petrol and diesel-based automobiles.

To kickstart the initiative, memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have been signed with carmaker Renault-Nissan and local utilities specialist Keppel Energy. Renault-Nissan will supply EVs to the Singapore market and share its knowledge of EVs to develop common standards, while Keppel Energy will focus on developing charging stations and other infrastructure to support the test-bedding.

A government taskforce, formed by personnel from various agencies including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Economic Development Board (EDB), and the National Environment Agency, will be overseeing the test-bedding programme. The taskforce is chaired by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Land Transport Authority. An amount of S$20 million (US$13.6 million) has been set aside as part of this programme to support infrastructure development and test-bedding of electric vehicles.


The EV test-bedding programme involves key industry players and examines infrastructure requirements and new business models arising from EVs, as well as identifies industry and R&D opportunities. The test-bedding will be open to all auto manufacturers and technology companies, according to the taskforce.

Singapore is well-positioned for the deployment of EVs because of our compact urban environment, and robust electrical grid and IT infrastructure, said Lawrence Wong, chief executive, EMA.

A future incentive for industry players to participate is that the programme can serve as a platform to experiment and adapt their work for use in other countries. The global market for EVs and other sustainable mobility solutions have significant potential and we intend to grow this sector in Singapore as part of our overall focus on urban solutions and clean technologies, said Dr Beh Swan Gin, managing director, EDB.


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