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Electric Vehicles Charging Bill 2022 passed; a milestone in Singapore’s quest for sustainable land transport system

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Under the new law, companies that provide electric vehicle charging services must obtain a three-year licence.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Bill was recently passed in Parliament as Singapore seeks to ramp up the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and strengthen the governing regulatory framework.

Speaking in Parliament during the second reading of the Bill, S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport outlined three key objectives; regulating the safe use of electric vehicle chargers, ensuring reliable electric vehicle charging services, and promoting the accessibility of the electric vehicle charging network.

Under the new law, companies that provide electric vehicle charging services must obtain a three-year licence. Licensing conditions will include the purchase of public liability insurance, and correcting electric vehicle charging service downtime issues within a specified duration.   

“Our vision is for all vehicles in Singapore to run on cleaner energy by 2040. Based on current trends, many of these, and in fact a significant proportion will be electric vehicles. This year, more than 10% of new light vehicle registrations were EVs, up from 0.3% in 2020. That is a 30-fold increase. The adoption has been broad-based, with half of all EVs registered to condominium and HDB residents,” said Minister Iswaran.

To encourage the electric vehicle transition, Singapore aims to deploy 60,000 charging points across the island by 2030. “Today, we have over 3,600 charging points, which is more than double the number two years ago. LTA recently awarded a tender to deploy an additional 12,000 charging points across all HDB carparks. This means our charger network is going to increase significantly by the middle of this decade,” added the Minister.

The Workers’ Party member of parliament, Assoc Prof Jamus Lim raised potential risks on the new electric vehicle charging stations, which include electric shocks and battery-related fire.

“Battery-related fires are particularly salient concerns given the numbers of recent reports of HDB fires due to PMD and our multi-storey parking structures. In Sengkang alone, I am aware of two over the past two years, and the Minister has shared with this house that there were 18 PMD fires across the island last year, which the SCDF and LTA had determined was due to non-compliance with safety standards,” said the Sengkang GRC MP.

This was addressed by Minister Iswaran during his opening speech on the potential fire and other safety hazards which the Bill proposed to regulate and cover the entire cycle of electric vehicle chargers, and to consolidate the regulatory oversight under the Land Transport Authority. 

“Clause 6 of the Bill specifies that all chargers supplied in Singapore must belong to a homologated model that meets the national charging standard, which is Technical Reference 25 (or TR25), and it was revised earlier this year,” explained Minister Iswaran.

The supply of a non-homologated model is an offence with a penalty for individuals of a maximum fine of $20,000 or a maximum jail term of 24 months, or both; while a corporate entity faces a maximum fine of $40,000. 

Clause 15 of the Bill prohibits the advertisement of non-approved EV charger models, including online or digital advertising. The Bill empowers LTA to direct the advertiser to stop further publication of the advertisement, disable access to the offending advertisement, or publish a corrective advertisement.

In concluding his speech, Minister Iswaran said that ‘it is a milestone in Singapore’s quest for a sustainable land transport system, and in our journey towards net zero emissions by 2050.’

 

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