09 Dec 2014

Electric Vehicles ‘Not Economically Feasible Yet’

After a 30-month feasibility test for Electric Vehicles (EVs), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Energy Market Authority, have concluded that EVs are not economically feasible at present.

Major concerns by participants of the test include the high purchase price of EVs, the availability of public charging infrastructure as well as technology limitations (i.e. range of vehicle, battery life and charging time).

It was discovered that EVs would be technically suitable in Singapore as the average national daily driving distance was 46km – most EVs are able to go up to a range of 120km to 160km per charge. In addition, a study carried out showed that if all of Singapore’s private cars were to be EVs, the daily power system load of the whole of Singapore would only increase by 4.8%.

While technical feasibility is only one part to the equation, EVs appear not to present economic value due to their high open market value (OMV) – as much as three times that of a comparable petrol model. Due to Singapore’s vehicle tax structure having taxes based on the vehicle’s OMV, this translates to extremely high purchase costs for an EV (i.e. purchase price of a Nissan Leaf EV: $200,000 vs a Nissan Sylphy Petrol: $110,000).

The LTA and Economic Development Board (EDB) believe that despite the high costs for EVs at present, there is a possibility in future that prices for EVs can decline due to economies of scale and the decreasing cost of technology.

*Source: Channel News Asia