TODAY: A greener ride on Sentosa

Sentosa Development Corporation’s (SDC) recently conducted an electric vehicle trial on the island.

TODAY reports.

A greener ride on Sentosa

SINGAPORE – For three months, a 10-year-old Renault Kangoo van zipped around the hilly terrain of Sentosa island on only 10 cents a kilometre.

An electric vehicle company, evHUB, which converted the diesel-powered van to an electric plug-in in 2009, had lent the van to the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

From May to July, five members of the island’s maintenance staff used the vehicle to perform their daily duties, checking on installations and transporting goods.

The test-bedding allowed the corporation to “experience” the use of an electric vehicle in a “living laboratory environment” and “created an awareness amongst users on how an electric vehicle can be part of the island’s operations”, SDC’s corporate planning divisional director Chan Mun Wei told Today.

Driving an electric vehicle for the first time, SDC transport staff Sopian Supar said: “It’s good and smooth – you don’t get the vibrations of a diesel engine. It’s a small island, so we don’t need a lot of range.”

According to evHUB managing director David Chou, the Kangoo clocked 353km during the trial period, averaging 10km daily and generating a saving of “20 to 60 per cent off the cost of diesel”.

“It would have been six cents a kilometre on flatter terrain,” Mr Chou added.

The project is part of the island’s sustainability plans, put in place since 2009 to test-bed green technologies such as energy-efficient lights and renewable energy.

While the test-bedding facilitated data collection on the vehicle’s capabilities and efficiency in comparison with fuel-powered vehicles, it is still early days as to whether the island’s vehicles would go completely electric.

“Adopting electric vehicles on a wider scale on the island would depend on market readiness and cost-effectiveness. There are also technical challenges such as the availability of charging infrastructure,” said Mr Chan.

In the meantime, the SDC is progressively replacing its diesel vehicles with new models that meet stringent emission standards.

It is also developing an intra-island electric-powered cableway, offering guests the use of Segways, electric bicycles, and building bicycle and foot paths for guests to explore the island in a green manner, Mr Chan said.

Image taken from Andy*Enero


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