Pioneering EV event , EV Weekend, helped to focus and boost the interest about EVs in Singapore and has been welcomed by both the public and the motoring industry
SINGAPORE – It’s a sign of the times: While Singapore hasn’t yet seen the return of the ‘normal’ motorshow since the pandemic, the island’s first event centered on electric vehicles (EVs) has been a great success with impressive physical attendance, big reach online, positive input from the public, and strong support from industry partners.
Arguably it’s the country’s first major car show since the 2020 Singapore Motorshow, but that’s not the most important thing about it: The fact that it’s Singapore’s first electric car show is.
EV Weekend, dubbed Singapore’s first and largest EV event, ran from December 3 to 12, 2021, at The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa, but as befitting a car event in the current times, it included multiple modes of audience interaction.
The event saw 10 cars on display from six brands, but besides viewing the cars in person at RWS, attendees could also sign up for test drives to experience EVs for themselves.
Event organiser UCARS says EV Weekend is a consumer-focused show aimed at increasing the awareness about EVs in Singapore rather than a traditional motor show, which is why it emphasised non-traditional aspects of a car show.
But given the scale, it’s certainly the biggest motoring-related event Singapore has seen since early 2020.
Physical ‘attendance’ to the show floor at RWS is estimated at over 10,000. That’s much less than the Singapore Motorshow 2020’s iteration, which saw 52,000 visitors, but it’s still a thoroughly impressive figure for the pandemic era. Test drives for the event took place from December 10 to 12, with 300 pre-booked slots over three days that were all spoken for and the vast majority of those filled up during the first week of the show.
But EV Weekend also made a huge impact in a most important space: Online.
UCARS’ social media platforms saw a reach of 2.4-million during the event, along with almost 400,000 video views related to EV Weekend. CarBuyer, as official media for EV Weekend, saw 1.4-million impressions for our own EV Weekend content, and an estimated reach of just over one million.
The physical event was complemented by a virtual showroom – at EVWeekend.sg – where users could experience the cars in-depth without having to contend with crowds.
EV Weekend’s brand and media night saw brand presentations and panel discussions, was held on December 9, 2021, with approximately 100 guests in physical attendance – including guest of honour Mr Saktiandi Supaat, MP for Bishan Toa Payoh GRC, and Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport. But like EV Weekend itself, the night was also presented to a wider audience, via internet livestream.
“Organising a major event like this was a major challenge for us, but we believed that the timing was exactly right. The success of the event, plus the response from the public as well as our sponsors and partners speaks for itself,” said Mr Hong Chun Mun PBM, CEO of UCARS.
That the event has been welcomed by the car industry and consumers is no surprise, given the backdrop to electric motoring has undergone a sea change over the past two years.
While COVID has changed the world significantly since early 2020, the shift to electric motoring is now kicking into high gear all around the globe – and EV Weekend marks the fact that we’re finally seeing the beginning of that process here in Singapore.
That’s something UCARS took into account.
“Ucars is Singapore’s fastest-growing online car marketplace, so our passion and mission is really to connect Singaporeans with the right car. EV Weekend is a natural extension of that,” Mr Hong told CarBuyer. “The growing traction that EVs have in Singapore is obvious, and we feel we have a huge part to play in arming everyday drivers with the knowledge and experiences through this event.”
CarBuyer interviewed attendees to EV Weekend to see what they thought of EV Weekend. Quotes have been edited for clarity and factual accuracy.
Mildred, 32, who works in sales and test drove the Mini Electric:
“The car is fun to drive, very zippy and very quiet. The event is a good initiative, because I got to see many EVs in just one day, and test drive as multiple EVs.”
Rainier, 31, who works in finance. test drove the Kia Niro EV:
“The car is quite nice and very smooth. The drive exceeded my expectations. It’s the first time I’m driving an electric car. I really liked the interior design. It feels very top quality. I think (the car) is nice. Overall, (EV Weekend) is quite good, because there are a lot of cars on display here.”
Alvin, 31, who works in the solar industry:
“I think (EV Weekend) is very good. I wish more people could experience this, because currently in Singapore we are facing a ‘chicken and egg’ issue regarding EVs and charging. At the moment (EVs) are still quite exclusive to people who can have their own place to charge (at home). Hopefully we get more chargers everywhere, so that more people can have access to EVs. I think this is the way forward and everyone should be able to experience (EVs).”
Dhruv, 27, executive:
“It’s an interesting event. I think it should happen more frequently so people can get more exposure to different cars. And probably more test drive opportunities would be good as well.”
Johannes, 42, pilot:
“It’s interesting, and it gives Singaporeans more knowledge about EVs, as they are relatively new in Singapore. A lot of people think that if they live in a HDB or condo they won’t have anywhere to charge, but that’s not really true. You still can charge, but of course it’s not as convenient as if you stay in a landed property. But actually this event is a good educational tool for Singaporeans.”
If we look back at the Singapore Motorshow 2020 as a gauge of the main stream of motoring here, there were only four EVs on display – but less than two years on, there are 10 EVs on show at EV Weekend alone.
Industry partners CarBuyer spoke to say EV Weekend has come at exactly the right time, and has been an important platform to help spread the awareness and education about EVs in Singapore.
Mr Markus Schuster, Audi Singapore’s managing director, said: “It’s great that EV Weekend is on, where people can really go see the cars, because it’s really the most fascinating, the most emotional way to experience cars. And I think it’s going to be a great event for Singapore.”
Mr Lars Nielsen, the managing director for BMW Group Asia, said : “Electromobility is key to achieve a sustainable future, and the best way to understand e-mobility is to try it yourself. It’s great to have a platform like EV Weekend where customers can do just that, and speak with experts from all parts of the e-mobility ecosystem to help them make the best decision.”
Mr Royston Soh, Head of Kia Sales and Marketing at Cycle & Carriage, said: “EV weekend arrives at a perfect time for Singapore and us, as Kia is already prepared for the next step of motoring with the current Kia Niro EV, and the advanced EV6 debuting in 2022 – which is why we felt it crucial to be a part of an event that puts EVs at the forefront.”
Mr Claudius Steinhoff, the CEO and President of Daimler Southeast Asia/Mercedes-Benz Singapore said: “We’re super happy to take part in EV Weekend, because the transition to EVs is more than just about products, the whole ecosystem needs to support this transition. And what I like about EV Weekend is that it’s a one-stop event, so you can come down, you can listen to experts, and you can figure out for yourself: ‘Is now the time for an EV?’ ”
Ms Jamie Lee, the general manager for marketing for MG Singapore, said: “When we heard about EV Weekend we thought, “Yes! We need to be a part of it!” It’s been awhile since we’ve had a motoring event in Singapore and I think it’s exciting for consumers to be able to see and test drive a range of EVs in one place.”
Mr Kidd Yam, head of Mini, BMW Group Asia, said: “EV Weekend was a great way for potential EV owners to see what EV options are out there. This event put the EV market in the spotlight and increased general awareness and education on the joy and ease of driving an EV.”