Study shows that 1 in 4 Singaporeans are open to EV ownership


Recent study shows that Singaporeans are open to the idea of practical EV ownership, but also hold significant perceptions about EVs that are incorrect  

SINGAPORE – A study carried out by Edelman Intelligence and commissioned by Shell has thrown up some interesting and seemingly paradoxical opinions locals hold on privately-owned electric vehicles (EVs).

The study was commissioned by Shell to pair with the launch of its new EV charging network, named Shell Recharge, which debuted in Singapore today.  

It says that one quarter of Singaporeans are open to purchasing an electric car in the next 24-months, but also states that 50 percent of them think EV ownership is impossible if one lives in high-rise residential building such as a condominium, HDB flat, or apartment. 

Mainstream electric cars, like this Kia Niro EV, are fully capable of travelling more than 200km on a single charge 

That seems like a contradictory statement, but that simply means that a significant number of Singaporeans would switch to EVs if they could, but they know it’s not a practical reality just yet. 

There’s also a bit more education needed: 70 percent of responders don’t know that an EV can be charged in an hour or less (through DC fast charging), one in three saw a long charging time as a major deterrent to purchasing an EV. 

DC fast charging can fully charge some EVs in an hour or less

The top three perceived concerns against EV buying/ownership are: 

1. Not enough charging stations (55 percent)
2. High maintenance cost (53 percent) 
3. Range anxiety, or running out of power while driving (53 percent). 

Of the top three perceived concerns, two are inaccurate. There are certainly not enough charging stations in Singapore, but EVs cost less to maintain than normal cars since they use far less consumables and have fewer moving parts, and modern EVs have a range far in excess of the average Singaporean driver’s average mileage (48km per day). 

On a more encouraging note, half of the poll responders would be encouraged to use or buy electric cars if there were enough charging stations here. 

Also, of the top five reasons to avoid buying an EV, three were solid (1, 3 and 5). The top five barriers to EV ownership cited by poll responders were:  

  1. Not enough charging stations – 52 percent
  2. High maintenance cost – 52 percent 
  3. Not as affordable as normal cars – 46 percent 
  4. Range anxiety – 45 percent 
  5. Do not live/work near charging space – 41 percent 

The study was an online poll conducted in July 2019, involving 1,000 Singaporeans from the ‘general population’, ages 18 and above,  

EVs are not an instant cure for climate change though they would help in reducing local air pollution and the attendant health issues, because if you didn’t know it, Singapore’s air quality is terrible

If EVs are paired with renewable energy sources – solar is a prime option – then it would definitely be an improvement, because the climate disaster is becoming more apparent every day.  

Extreme weather is being seen here in the form of dry spells and more violent thunderstorms, even without brush fires and the haze, it could reach 40 degrees here by 2045

The good news is that we’re likely to see more proactive measures by the government, now that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has explicitly said climate change is a big danger to Singapore.  

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.