Delivered in Parliament on 10 May 2021
Mr Speaker, sir, this Bill seeks to amend the Land Transport Authority of Singapore Act to confer on the LTA new functions concerning the regulation of safe use of electric vehicles and the development and maintenance of accessible charging points in public and common areas as well as working with the Energy Market Authority (EMA) on the area of electric chargers for vehicles and the facilitation of the development and maintenance of charging points in the public and common areas.
In my Budget Debate Speech this year, I had raised, among other related issues, the issue of the critical number of charging points required in all residential, commercial car parks and even other public car parks as well as the design of the carparks vis-à-vis the locations of the charging points as well as my concern that most of the present HDB, public and commercial carparks not being adequately designed to prevent bottlenecks or congestions caused by more than a few cars waiting for the current few charging units available at each car
park, especially as currently the lots with the charging units are placed side by side and usually on the lower floors.
Update on details and progress of installation of EV charging points in public car parks under first tender
On 1 April 2021, it was reported in the Straits Times that a public tender for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points at some 200 public carparks across Singapore has drawn 19 bidders. The tender called for bidders to build, operate and maintain more than 600 charging points for 12 years, starting as early as Aug 31 this year.
I would like to ask the Minister (1) whether the successful bidders are supposed to install the charging points in existing lots in the existing public car parks; (2) whether the Government has decided on the minimum number of charging points per public car park i.e. what is the ratio of charging points vis-à-vis the number of car park lots; (3) whether these charging points will be in consecutive lots; or (4) whether they include any change of design of the car park in such a way that any queue waiting for any single lot will not cause any obstruction to other cars leaving the car park or going to another parking lot.
Penalties to encourage motorists to move vehicles from chargers timeously after charging
Beyond the importance of having the right car park infrastructure or making the necessary conversions or adjustments to ensure the car park design or infrastructure do not by themselves cause any unnecessary obstruction and inconvenience to motorists and other members of the public during charging, I would also like to ask the minister whether he will consider any of the following actions to encourage people to move their vehicles away from charging stations immediately after charging so that other users may not be unnecessarily deprived of their use:
- Require service providers to impose heavy payments after charging is done if the vehicle is not removed from the station within a short grace period; or, alternatively,
- To have car park authorities impose an escalating fine for motorists continuing to keep the spot occupied after charging and beyond a short grace period eg fines to increase at every 15 minutes interval.
Next, I would also like to ask the minister, for non-landed private residences and commercial buildings, whether the
Government will stipulate a fixed minimum number of charging points in each car park or what is the ratio of charging points vis-a-vis the number of car park lots? And if so, for car parks in these non-publicly owned properties as well as public car parks, will the Government stipulate the ratio in any government regulation?
Mr Speaker, sir, during the Committee of Supply Debate for the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment this year, the honourable Mr Lim Biow Chuan raised the issue of MCST needing to obtain approvals from residents via general meetings. Minister Ong Ye Kung replied that there are certain players such as SP Mobility, Greenlots and Charge+ who are willing to foot the upfront installation fees for EV chargers in return for collecting charging revenue for a period. One of the condominium MCSTs in my constituency has already provided feedback that given the conditions of the lease of chargers with one of the companies mentioned by the minister, they may still need to obtain between 75-90% general or special resolution approval from residents for the lease anyway. I hope the minister will look into this and provide assistance so that condominiums and their residents will be able to overcome all difficulties arising from the need to obtain adequate general
meeting resolution approvals and in the event of no approvals, to advise them what they should do.
Extent of coverage of EV grant
Meantime, I would also be grateful if the Minister can update us on the government efforts made so far to ensure that all private condominiums and commercial properties will be able to get adequate support for the installation of charging units beyond the EV Common Charger grant as well as the adequacy of the grant to all eligible or affected parties. May I also know whether the grant covers any infrastructural works required for the installation of chargers beyond price and installation of chargers?
Mr Speaker, sir, notwithstanding my questions and concerns, I support the Bill.