The First Large-Scale Electric Car Sharing Service in Southeast Asia (ASEAN)
BlueSG Pte Ltd has unveiled the locations of its first batch of 30 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) ahead of the roll-out of what will be Singapore’s first large-scale EV-sharing programme in December.
In a statement on September 27, it said the sharing program will enable users to pick up and return EVs at different locations at their convenience. The first batch of Bluecars is being commissioned and the program aims to have a 1,000 vehicle-strong fleet eventually.
“When launched in December, BlueSG’s one-way car-sharing service will play an integral part in achieving our car-lite vision, providing the public with another convenient option for point-to-point transport, and reducing reliance on private vehicles,” says Lam Wee Shann, Chief Technology Officer of the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The 30 charging stations will offer a total of 120 charging points and ground-breaking works to install the stations began in end-September. From the figure, 18 stations are located in public housing estates, 10 around the city centre and its fringes while another two are within industrial and commercial estates.
EV Charging Infrastructure Concession
BlueSG, a subsidiary of French transportation group the Bolloré Group, has committed to roll out a total of 500 charging stations nationwide, equipped with 2,000 charging points, following its EV sharing program signed with the LTA and the Economic Development Board in June 2016.
From the 2,000 charging points, up to 20 percent will be available for public usage. Bolloré Group was selected out of 13 operators that responded to the government’s request for information exercise in December 2014.
The agreement stipulates that BlueSG will operate the program for 10 years. After the agreement lapses, the government will take over all charging points and make them available for public use.
“The network of 2,000 charging points that BlueSG will install island-wide will lay the foundation for a national EV charging network to support EV proliferation moving forward,” says Lam.
On Sept 27, BlueSG also opened its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore which will oversee its e-mobility and other business interests in the region.
The firm also established a Global Innovation Centre to undertake research and development into mobility and energy management solutions. Altogether, BlueSG expects to create 250 jobs in Singapore by 2021.
Private Participation to Fast Track EV Adoption
The Singapore-BlueSG partnership shows how private sector participation can fast-track EV adoption. In comparison, over at its neighbouring country, Malaysia’s Government Linked Companies – Petronas and Tenaga Nasional Bhd – are deploying the infrastructure for Malaysia’s adoption efforts. Drawing in more private sector players would accelerate the push.
More partnerships would also ensure more stakeholders are onboard, which would encourage a cohesive movement towards the same goal.
While Malaysia’s urban mobility initiatives had focused on boosting public transportation use instead of EV adoption, it need not be a zero-sum game as some segments of the population may still find it more practical to drive around.