Electric cars are becoming more common in Singapore and motorists might consider buying them.
If, like many drivers, you clock 45 to 50km a day, then you are within the range of most electric cars being sold in Singapore.
But what are the different charging schemes available?
And are there any special precautions electric car owners in Singapore must be aware of when charging their vehicles?
What sort of range can you expect from an EV (electric vehicle)?
Most electric vehicles (EVs) today can easily travel 200km on a full battery.
The range, of course, depends on driving habits and how much auxiliary power is consumed.
For example, accelerating rapidly all the time will deplete the battery quickly.
Electric car batteries are never allowed to be fully discharged.
EV battery systems are designed to maintain a charge of about 20 percent, which means they will never deplete to zero.
Similarly, when charging, the batteries achieve 80 percent within a “reasonable” time while the last 20 percent is at a markedly slower rate.
Electric cars are easier to own in Singapore when you live in landed property.
The authorised dealer of an EV model can supply a wall-mounted unit for home charging.
Note, however, that a 230-volt single-phase residential line for EV charging must be a dedicated supply capable of 20amps.
Charging this way takes between six and eight hours.
The number of electric car charging stations in Singapore is increasing.
The number of public charging stations is growing.
An EV can be charged at any of the existing public stations, which are accessed via mobile phone app.
A few of these stations also offer fast charging, which can charge up to 90 percent in less than half an hour.
Consult your dealer for details on charging time.
However, charging in public isn’t so straightforward!
Every company that operates charging stations requires you to use a different app or RFID card to pay for their services!
You can’t just use your favourite credit card or NETS to pay for charging.
Electric cars in Singapore will only start taking off if payment could be more seamless.
Rapid chargers would make electric car ownership even more viable.
Long charging times are another barrier to electric car ownership here.
Rapid chargers, which can top up batteries in about 10 minutes, would make “refuelling” more realistic.
Not everyone can hang around for an hour or two while waiting for their car to be charged.
Bear in mind that using the fast charger frequently could deplete the storage capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack over time.
In any case, if you have your own private charging wall-box, charging overnight will be more than sufficient.