Unlike the policies that we currently have in Malaysia, the city-state down south is heading for the future.
In a way, we kind of understand that Malaysia isn't going to be the most receptive to electric vehicles. We are, after all, an OPEC - our main export is crude oil and its alternatives, and naturally electric vehicles aren't exactly in line with our image to the world. That being said, electric vehicles are the inevitable future (at least until they get synthetic fuels working properly), so it would be foolish to not accomodate them.
The problem with electric cars are numerous and complex. The infrastructure necessary for an electric car to be functional and practical is not something you can set up willy-nilly - at least, not as easily as you can with petrol stations. Similarly charging times are not quick enough to be convenient, and range is something only afforded to high-end, extremely expensive electric cars.
On top of all that, there is a very large skill requirement when it comes to handling these cars, not just from a maintenance and upkeep perspective but from a rescue and engineering perspective. Electric vehicles can't simply be hosed down to put out a fire, or sprayed with chemicals, or cut into pieces. There needs to be a significant revamp to our safety services and mechanics in order to make sure big accidents and huge fires don't occur.
But even with all of these obstacles in the way, Singapore is finally heading forward and making the push for electric vehicle ownership. It is without a doubt far easier for Singapore to do something like this, not merely because they are extremely rich, but also because their country is incredibly small and incredibly developed. The costs are relatively low, and the engineering expertise already currently exists.
Singapore has announced that for their 2021 budget, 60,000 electric vehicle charging points will be set up in public car parks and private premises by 2030 - just 9 years from now. That would be an average of just over 6,600 points a year, covering most of the island. There's no word on how they'll handle HDB flats, though generally the majority of those staying in HDB flats also do not own cars and use the highly efficient public transport system.
On top of this, there will be 30 million Singapore dollars allocated for the next 5 years for electric vehicle related initiatives - probably for improving charging infrastructure, training engineers and rescue services, investing in various electric vehicle recycling equipment, and so on. Increasing the affordability of electric vehicles comes down to a registration fee of zero, compared to the usual 5,000 Singapore dollars, and re-adjusted roadtax to match conventional cars.
That last part is something to note, given that our own electric car road tax is seemingly absurd as you can read about in our various articles on the subject. Electric vehicles should even have low to no roadtax, or even incentives in place as much of Europe does, in order to encourage customers to take the risk of ownership even with all the current impracticalities to consider.