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20090507 Thursday May 07, 2009

Singapore electric vehicles : Government agencies EMA and LTA to study EV introduction

channelnewsasia.com :

A multi-agency taskforce chaired by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been set up to study the introduction of electric vehicles (EV's) in Singapore from 2010. Key industry players include auto manufacturers and technology companies. S$20 million will be set aside to support infrastructure development and tests for electric vehicles. The EV test-bed will allow testing of different EV prototypes and charging technologies as well as research into vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power, and is expected to run for three years (2010-2012). The taskforce will then evaluate the scope for larger scale adoption of EV's in the future.

EMA CEO Mr Lawrence Wong said Singapore is well-positioned for the deployment of EVs because of its compact urban environment, robust electrical grid and IT infrastructure. The EV test-bed offers potential economic benefits for manufacturing and R&D, such as in battery technology, power electronics and electric drive systems. Renault-Nissan and Keppel Energy have signed an MOU with the EV taskforce. Renault-Nissan will supply EVs and share knowledge to develop common standards. Keppel Energy will develop charging stations and other supporting infrastructure.

- The timeline of 2010 to 2012 for the EV test program looks great. In fact, it looks like pretty good timing to me, with the likes of Toyota, Honda and Nissan and Mazda already planning PHEV's and EV's, and lithium-ion hybrid car battery manufacturing tie-ups coming up between major players including Honda-Yuasa, Toyota-Panasonic and Nissan-NEC. And on the American side of things, if/when they emerge from the current situation, they have the Chevrolet Volt, while the higher-end folks may start considering the Tesla Model S or the Tesla Roadster.

As an aside, back in Sep-Oct 2006, the Singapore government issued a National Climate Change Strategy call for consultation. My response included this item : "Consider a strategy to implement infrastructure for recharging of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, eg Cashcard-based overnight recharging stations in carparks". Of course technology and standards have evolved since then, with the current thinking as far as I can gather being the adoption of compact, standardized 440V/480V charging stations that can be put nearly anywhere including along roadsides (and hence near shops, businesses and other areas where people will visit), or inside carparks, existing petrol stations and so on, with quick charging times of just 15-20 minutes.

People like myself, whether environmentalists, peakoilers, or just concerned citizens, have been trying to push for something like this since years back. It is good to see the Singapore government starting to look into the possibility of introducing EV's onto Singapore's roads. This is a progressive and forward-looking initiative.

See also :

1. Nissan starts PHEV plug-in hybrid development, to introduce electric car concept at 2008 Paris Motor show
2. GM unveils production version of Chevrolet Volt PHEV plug-in hybrid car
3. Toyota to launch pure electric car based on FT-EV concept in US by 2012
4. Tesla Model S electric car unveiled, specifications include 300-mile range, 5.6 sec 0-60 mph timing
5. Honda may develop plug-in hybrid cars as Obama alters US policy

(2009-05-07 07:08:14 SGT) [Energy] Permalink

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