Singapore has committed to fighting the climate crisis in a big way, with an ambitious blueprint for change set out in the Green Plan 2030, unveiled during the Budget 2021 speech.
Encouraging drivers to switch to Electrical Vehicles (EV) is one of the government’s many goals for the near future, in line with the Green Plan’s objective of promoting cleaner-energy vehicles.
One of the biggest barriers to EV ownership is the lack of conveniently-located charging points. Thankfully, however, the government aims to have 60,000 EV charging points installed by 2030. If you're hoping to BTO or buy a HDB flat soon, better still – there are plans for eight HDB towns to be made EV-ready by 2025.
Here’s what you need to know about EVs in Singapore, as well as the eight chosen HDB estates.
What Is An Electrical Vehicle (EV)?
An EV is a car that is powered using a battery, rather than petrol. There are also hybrid cars on the market that run on a combination of petrol and electricity.
If you are driving a fully-electric car, you will not need to fill your fuel tank with petrol. Instead, you charge your car’s battery, either by plugging it into an EV charging station, or by charging it at home. At the moment, the latter option is only open to those who live in landed property and can charge their cars in their own homes, or those who live in a condo with EV charging points installed in the carpark.
Cost of Owning An EV
The purchase price of EVs tends to be significantly higher than that of similar fuel-run cars. That said, part of the additional cost can be recouped over the years as the per-kilometre cost of electricity is significantly lower than the cost of fuel. Maintenance also tends to be significantly cheaper for EVs.
Popular EV models include the Tesla Model 3 Electric, which is a premium model and thus quite costly, and entry-level models Honda E Electric and Nissan Leaf Electric. As EV use becomes more widespread in Singapore and the world at large, a much greater range of models is likely to become available.
EV-Ready HDB Towns (by 2025)
The government has earmarked eight HDB towns for transformation into EV-ready towns. By 2025, all HDB car parks in these eight towns will be fitted with EV chargers.
This likely to be a game-changer as it will save EV owners the inconvenience of having to leave their vehicles at a charging point a distance from home.
Here are the eight EV-ready HDB towns:
1. Ang Mo Kio
This popular mature town is highly sought-after, so it comes as no surprise that its last BTO exercise for Kebun Baru Edge was oversubscribed one day after its launch in 2020, with 1,180 applications jostling for 140 five-room flats. The area is home to the sprawling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, one of the biggest and best-loved heartland parks in Singapore, as well as an established ecosystem of local eateries and amenities.
Bedok is one of the largest estates in Singapore and continues to enjoy considerable popularity, thanks in part to its accessibility by MRT as well as several new MRT stations in the area which have boosted connectivity even further. The area’s oldest MRT station, Bedok, connects speedily to both the CBD and the airport and business hubs at Changi, while newer stations Bedok North and Bedok Reservoir offer access to the Downtown Line. The Thomson-East Coast Line will offer an additional boost via Bedok South MRT.
3. Choa Chu Kang
Choa Chu Kang in the northwest of Singapore offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its proximity to Kranji Countryside as well as the parks and nature reserve in nearby Bukit Batok and Upper Bukit Timah. The 2020 BTO launch of Keat Hong Verge was one of the more affordable launches in recent memory.
4. Jurong West
Jurong West has profited from the rejuvenation of Jurong East as a major retail and office zone. The Jurong Lake District is undergoing development into a scenic and recreational area, and new condo developments have popped up to serve residents hoping to live near Jurong Lake, including Lake Life, Lake Grande and Lakeville. The Jurong Innovation District is also a key draw for those working in technology and R&D.
Punggol in the northeast of Singapore has gone from a seldom-visited non-mature estate to a family-friendly destination, thanks to Punggol Waterway Park with its numerous cycling trails and scenic riverine views. In 2020, the HDB’s first batch of smart-enabled HDB flats became ready for habitation in the Northshore Residences I & II BTO projects. These flats can be converted into smart homes controlled through a mobile application.
Conveniently located on the city fringe, Queenstown is a highly-sought after mature town, with a new BTO project scheduled to be launched in August 2021. As this is the first BTO launch in Queenstown in nine years, it is expected to be heavily oversubscribed. Queenstown not only has the advantage of connecting directly to the CBD by MRT in just five stops, but also enjoys proximity to IKEA and sporting goods hub Queensway Shopping Centre.
The northern neighbourhood of Sembawang enjoyed a BTO launch in November 2020, when Sun Sails units were put up for balloting. An Executive Condominium (EC) at Canberra Drive is expected to be launched in April 2021. Sembawang is a relatively quiet area, its main claim to fame being the Sembawang Hot Spring Park.
Tengah is an upcoming residential area currently undergoing development to the west of Bukit Batok. Several BTO exercises have taken place in Tengah over the past year, with more expected to come The area hopes to become a beacon of sustainability as Singapore’s first smart energy town with a car-free town centre. It will be served by upcoming MRT stations Tengah Park and Tengah Plantation, scheduled to open in 2027, on the future Jurong Region Line.
The Future of Electric Cars in Singapore
In addition to transforming eight neighbourhoods into EV-ready towns by 2025, the government hopes to make every HDB town EV-ready by 2030. When the time comes, we can expect to see charging points in public carparks all over the island, and EV ownership is likely to become the norm.
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