Singapore is going for a multi-million dollar push for electric cars. A task-force has been set up for the purpose.
To spearhead the test-bedding of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Singapore, a multi-agency taskforce chaired by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA), has been set up, it was stated in a press release.
The EV test-bedding programme will involve key industry players to examine infrastructure requirements and new business models arising from EVs, as well as to identify industry and R&D opportunities.
The taskforce will work closely with these industry partners to prepare for the first batch of EVs on Singapore roads by 2010.
$20 million has been set aside as part of this programme to support infrastructure development and test-bed electric vehicles.
To kickstart the test-bedding initiative, the EV taskforce has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) Renault-Nissan and Keppel Energy.
Under the MOUs, 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 of EVs.
Based on the results of the pilot, the taskforce will also evaluate the scope for larger scale adoption of EVs in future, as the technology matures, it was stated.
"Renault and Nissan aim to become leading brands in zero emission vehicles. Singapore is for us a key priority, as the geography of the country and the focus on environment issues can enable fast and strong development of electric cars. We are very pleased to see the commitment of Singapore authorities and we look forward to working closely with all partners involved to make this project successful," said Mr Thierry Koskas, Renault's electric vehicles programme director.
"Technological advancement and the search for efficient usage of fuel have hastened the pace of electrification of the automobile industry. As the supporting infrastructure for charging is one of the key success factors for electric vehicle implementation, Keppel Energy is pleased to be the first infrastructure partner with EMA, LTA and EDB to explore the viability of this scheme that will contribute to Singapore's sustainable development," says Dr Ong Tiong Guan, Managing Director of Keppel Energy.
The EV test-bed is expected to run for three years, between 2010 and 2012, and will also serve as a platform for companies to experiment and adapt innovative solutions for use in other countries.
"The setting up of this multi-agency taskforce underlines Singapore's strong interest to provide a "Living Lab" for companies to develop and testbed electric vehicles. We are delighted that Renault-Nissan and Keppel Energy are participating in this initiative. 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," says Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director, EDB.
"Electric vehicles are an exciting new area for both the energy and transport sectors. Singapore is well-positioned for the deployment of EVs because of our compact urban environment, and robust electrical grid and IT infrastructure. The test bed will provide an open platform for companies to test out different EV prototypes and charging technologies. At the same time, we would like to do more research in the concept of vehicle-to-grid power. In particular, if EVs are able to provide power to the grid during peak periods, and draw power from the grid during off-peak periods, they will help to level the demand (load) on the grid, thereby enabling our power system to operate more efficiently", says Mr Lawrence Wong, Chief Executive, EMA.
"Electric vehicles are a new urban transport solution that offers great potential for the development of industry, business, standards and R&D. The research and development around electric vehicles is well aligned with our Singapore Urban Transport Solutions (STARS) framework launched last year. We look forward to working with more companies on innovative transport solutions, and making our transport systems greener, cleaner, and more people-centred," says Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive, LTA.
The EV test-bed also offers potential economic benefits for manufacturing and R&D, for example, in areas like battery technology, power electronics and electric drive systems. Singapore will benefit from more efficient energy usage and the commercial impact of the companies locating their research and demonstration projects here," highlights Prof Charles Zukoski, Chairman, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR.