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Demand rising for stations that give electric vehicles .pdf

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Demand rising for stations that give electric
vehicles the juice to run
BMW and charging infrastructure specialist Greenlots lead drive to set up EV charging
stations at condominiums
 MON, SEP 25, 2017 - 5:50 AM

Samuel Eesamuelee@sph.com.sg

Charging infrastructure specialist Greenlots began elding enquiries about setting up EV charging stations
from new condominium developments in 2015. It wanted to meet the BCA Green Mark criteria which
certi es their environmental impact and performance. PHOTO: ST FILE

INTEREST in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is growing, especially from condominium
residents, but the road to installation may not be smooth.

Charging infrastructure specialist Greenlots began elding enquiries about setting up EV
charging stations from new condominium developments in 2015. It wanted to meet the
BCA Green Mark criteria which certi es their environmental impact and performance.
Greenlots at the same time also wanted to gauge the demand - it had already expected
future requests for EV infrastructure to be primarily driven by increased demand from
both consumers and property owners.
"Today, we have installed about 60 EV chargers at more than 25 condos and the number is
growing quickly," says Greenlots regional manager Terence Siew. "Most of the condos are
new developments, but we are reaching out to existing developments as well and expect
to double these numbers by the end of next year."
SEE ALSO: Condo management stays ahead with EV charging
Customer demand usually drives the installation, explains Preeti Gupta, BMW Asia's
corporate a airs director. BMW is the rst manufacturer to make EVs widely available here
even before there is a charging infrastructure.
The German luxury manufacturer introduced its i3 and i8 models here in 2014 and since
then, a total of nearly 120 units have been registered.
Later this month, BMW will introduce ve more plug-in EV models - the 225xe Active
Tourer, 330e Sedan, 530e Sedan, 740Le xDrive and X5 xDrive40e.
Most BMW i customers live in houses, says Ms Gupta. "For our customers who live in
condominiums, we work closely with them and their estate managers to determine how
charging stations can be installed."
But condominium residents have "a longer journey" in installing a charging station,
although more condominiums have been more accommodating and willing to support
BMW's i customers.

In general, installing EV chargers at older condominiums - developments above 30 years,
for example - is more challenging as there is less spare capacity available for EV charging,
says Greenlots, which is BMW's public charging partner in Singapore and Thailand.
The installation of EV chargers is also an asset enhancement to the condominium, so an
approval of resolution is required from the management council in order to proceed.
Mr Siew explains: "The main di culty is that AGMs or EGMs are usually held once a year,
and if the opportunity is missed, it would take almost a year for the resolution to be
He points out that this is also the same reason condominiums generally took a longer time
to upgrade their Internet broadband access to optic bre as compared to HDB estates.
Another issue is parking space usage.
"These EV chargers must be shared among all residents, so users have to be considerate in
their usage of the chargers. The golden rule is to only park your EV at the designated lots
when you are charging," says Mr Siew.
If all these hurdles can be overcome, a condo will usually install between one and ve
chargers, depending on the number of parking spaces.
BMW and Greenlots either bear the installation costs or subsidise them, but declined to
give any numbers. It is understood that such public chargers, or so-called smart boxes
which are able to charge to individual accounts, may cost up to S$2,500 each, depending
on the amount of cabling involved.
Ms Gupta says that BMW and Greenlots are footing the bill because they are "pioneers for
electric mobility in Singapore".
"We are laying the groundwork both in terms of infrastructure and awareness," she
explains. "As EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid EVs) are still considered "new" technology in
our market and given the limited charging infrastructure that exists in Singapore, we hope

our support in installing charging stations at condominiums will incentivise our customers
to purchase EVs and PHEVs."
Since the electricity supply is tapped from the distribution mains, the condo's management
corporation usually pays for the electricity used by the chargers.
But Mr Siew says: "The MCST (management corporation) is able to recover these costs by
charging their residents for use of the EV chargers. Depending on the MCST, residents can
either pay a at monthly fee, or pay according to how often they use the charging facility."
Ultimately, electricity costs much less than petrol per kilometre of mileage, he adds.
"So residents should be able to enjoy the bene ts of driving electric and pay less for petrol



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