Move Over, Bike-Sharing. Here Comes Singapore’s Car-Sharing, and It’s Electric

You can forget your bike-sharing schemes in Singapore as the land-strapped City has launched its first large-scale electric car-sharing programme this week, in an attempt by the nation to give more commuting options and steer the general public away from personal car ownership.

The service, which is being operated by France’s BlueSG, is seen as an integral part of Singapore’s desire to reduce the number of cars on the Island and encourage the use of alternative and public transportation services.

Singapore is already one of the most expensive places in the world to own a car, and has already introduced measures to keep the number of cars at present levels by restricting the number of new car permits, locally known as Certificates of Entitlement or COE, from February of next year. As a result of this, a typical sedan is four times more expensive in Singapore than in the US of A.

The parent company of BlueSG, Bollore, already has similar schemes in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon in France, Indianapolis and Los Angeles in the States, and Torino in Italy. The company stated that due to the fantastic roads and infrastructure already in place, Singapore is an ideal candidate for the introduction of the car-sharing service.

To start with, there are but 80 cars available and they will have to share the 32 charging stations, but the aim is to roll out a further 1,000 cars and have 2,000 charging stations by 2020. Singapore will then become the second biggest user in the world after Paris.

There is no information on how much investment is being made by BlueSG but it is known that the Singapore government is putting in money towards the cost of the service. The cars utilised will be two-door hatchbacks capable of carrying four people, and will run on lithium-metal polymer batteries, which are rated for 200 kilometres on a full charge.

Cost per kilometre will be about S$0.50 per minute, which is the same as Paris, so taking a car, which you have to return to a charging station, is not cheap. This has not deterred Singaporeans and already 2,000 members have signed up even before the launch.

Image credit: Land Transport Authority via Mashable.com

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