5 Reasons Why Electric Cars Remain Unpopular in Singapore
Electric cars are a very good alternative to traditionally-fueled vehicles for various reasons. Predominantly because they are better for the environment than vehicles that operate on other fuel types. However, it appears this trend is not going to take over the world as soon as specialists say.
Singapore is one country where electric cars are still rather unpopular. In fact, the relationship between Singaporeans and the electric vehicle is complicated. More than in other parts of the world, in Singapore, citizens are not quite ready to replace traditional vehicles with electric ones. This is a very interesting topic, given that the city-state is a home of innovation, technology, and business. In fact, at this moment it’s one of the most developed places in the world. Let’s take a look at the various reasons why this contradiction exists.
1. The government
One of the main reasons why electric vehicles haven’t been more widely adopted in Singapore is because the government hasn’t conducted a campaign to promote this type of car yet. Plus, the Singaporean Government does not provide any subsidies for buyers, showing a lack of commitment to supporting and promoting the usage of electric vehicles.
One example of the limited market of electric cars in Singapore is how when the famous Tesla company tried to take over the electric car market, they met unexpected resistance both from local regulators and from the public. Tesla tried to launch itself on the Singaporean electric car market in 2011, but then it failed to secure a proposed tax rebate for customers from local regulators, which blocked the efforts of the company to enter the market. They tried again in 2017, but the Singaporean Government remained resistant and placed a $15,000 carbon tax on the Tesla Model S, preventing it from entering the market again.
2. No zero-emissions in Singapore
Singapore is a unique country in the world for multiple reasons. The city-state relies on natural gas as a power supply. This means that electric cars could not have the success expected here because the promise of zero-emissions made by electric car producers can’t be upheld in Singapore. Even though electric cars are cleaner and do not produce the same amount of pollution to the environment as cars fueled on gas do, in Singapore there will always be emissions because of the power supply used all over the city-state. This is one important reason why electric cars are still unpopular in Singapore, even with all the lobbying by big companies in the automotive sector.
The bottom line is that Singapore is probably the only place in the world where emissions are calculated differently. Here, there is the belief that all emissions which are not produced by an internal combustion engine while driving are produced at the power plant. Once you take this into consideration, electric cars perform as well as traditional cars in Singapore. Plus, in the city-state there is already a scheme that rewards cleaner vehicles, called “Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme”.
3. The cars are not worth the money
There is another problem with electric vehicles which makes them unpopular in Singapore. One of the downsides of electric cars is that they do not have the same range and power as traditional cars. Even though Tesla, the biggest producer of electric cars, promises a range of 300 miles, this can only be achieved with careful driving. This still an obstacle for many drivers. Plus, models of electric cars encourage aggressive driving and for that reason the drivers must be extra careful not to consume all the power.
Under these conditions, the cars do not justify the cost. An electric car can sell for up to $100,000, the reach for this price is very limited.
4. Charging time
Another reason why the electric car is still unpopular in Singapore, and in some other parts of the world, is the charging time. When you run out of power, you must find a source of energy and plug your car in before you go on your next journey. For some cars, a complete recharge takes a whole day. Other models promise a 7-hour recharge for optimum performance. Probably, the fastest charge time you can expect is 30 minutes. Still, in the fast-moving world we live in today, we don’t always have 30 minutes to wait. A traditional car takes 4 minutes to be fueled and then you can be on your way. Most Singaporeans still prefer that.
5. Singapore’s infrastructure
A very important reason why electric vehicles are still unpopular in Singapore is the lack of infrastructure for electric charging. Along with the electric cars, there comes the need for recharge stations. The local authorities will have to invest in this and develop a charging station system spanning the city-state to help drivers charge their vehicles faster. This is not yet underway in Singapore and the situation will probably remain the same in near future as well.
Singapore is one of the most evolved places in the world. It is one of the business centers, attracting lot of international investors and people growing their businesses. Therefore, the world was surprised when Singapore did not adopt electric cars early and continues to struggle. The truth is, electric vehicles are still unpopular in Singapore and the situation will not change any time soon.
Analysis of the reasons why electric cars are not yet popular in Singapore could help producers of these cars to understand what the problem is in the city-state and act accordingly. Singapore doesn’t care about electric vehicles much right now, even though they publicly agree that these cars are cleaner than traditional vehicles.
The reasons for the electric cars’ unpopularity are very serious and can only be resolved with the involvement of the government and local authorities. Until that happens, Singapore will remain a great place for business, but not a good market for electric cars.
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