Labour and Infrastructure Constitute Large Portion of the Cost of EV Charging Station, Says Singapore Electric Vehicle Association

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by KnowESG
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A panel of experts at the RHB ESG Thematic Conference on October 27 said that Southeast Asian countries often have trouble because they don't have the right infrastructure for charging electric vehicles (EVs).

This is the main obstacle to growing the industry, they add. “While power generation is sufficient, the issue lies in power distribution.”

Kitpon Kittiampon, project manager of the S Curve & EV Value Chain, Arun Plus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PTT, Thailand's state-owned listed oil and gas company, says that 70% of the charging infrastructure in the country is in Bangkok.

The vice-president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Singapore (EVAS), Paul Welsford, said that the power supply in strategic EV charging locations in Singapore, such as multi-level public car parks, is not meant to charge EVs. Instead, it is meant to power lights and elevators.

On the other hand, the panellists think that EVs will soon be priced the same as cars with internal combustion engines as long as companies keep making EVs in large quantities that cost less. “So, while the price premium limits EV adoption now, it is less of a concern moving forward,” notes RHB in a Nov. 1 thematic note.


RHB says that the switch to EVs is already happening in Singapore, where about one in every ten new vehicles registered is an EV.

Singapore now has more than 4,000 charging stations, both ones that are open to the public and ones that are privately owned.

By 2030, the government of Singapore wants to have 60,000 charging stations and 300,000 registered EVs.

The combination of early adopter subsidies and the Vehicular Emissions Scheme saves up to $45,000 on EV registration costs, which were supposed to close the price gap with conventional vehicles.

Welsford from EVAS said that the most expensive parts of putting in an EV charger are the labour and the wiring. Charging stations only make up about 10% of the total cost.

He says that operators only take a small profit from each charge to keep customers coming back. As a result, the company can only operate on a large scale.


Thailand's "30/30 goal" is to be a world-class EV hub and the best place to invest in EVs by 2030.

According to RHB, the Thai government's subsidies for EV-related businesses have pushed Thailand to claim its place as an ASEAN EV hub.

Several electric vehicle (EV) companies, such as PTT and Foxconn, as well as Great Wall Motor and MG Motor, want to set up EV bases in Thailand.

Still, Thailand doesn't have a lot of charging infrastructure, and most of what there is only in big cities like Bangkok. The country’s EV charging station market is expected to chart a CAGR of 44.5% from 2021 to 2026.


Indonesia has the most nickel reserves of any country and produces 30% of the world's nickel. Nickel is a raw material for EV batteries.

Batteries account for 39% of the overall cost of EVs in 2020, and while the price of batteries is predicted to fall, they will still account for 25% of total expenditures in 2030.

According to Yunan Fajar Ariyanto, senior vice-president of Finance at Indonesia Battery Corporation, the lower cost of domestic EV batteries can boost Indonesia's EV industry competitiveness.

The country hopes to be one of Southeast Asia's top two providers of imported EVs. RHB says that Indonesia does not want to be just a "powerhouse of raw materials," but also a hub for electric vehicles.

One of the biggest problems with growing the battery industry is that most nickel mines are in hard-to-reach places with few roads. Downstream is easier because the most important thing is to work with partners to make sure of liability and a steady supply of other materials.


Huzaimi Nor Omar, the COO of Green EV Charge, and Mohd Junaizee Mohd Noor, the project director of EV at Tenaga Nasional Berhad, a company under Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, were on the panel to talk about Malaysia.

As of December 2021, the number of battery EVs on Malaysian roads was approximately 480 units or 0.003% of the total industrial volume (TIV).

Huzaimi, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Green EV Charge, talked about why direct current (DC) chargers are better than alternating current (AC) chargers. AC chargers are slower because grid power must be converted to DC inside the EV before it can be stored, whereas DC chargers can send power directly to the EV's battery. As a result, DC chargers are more suited to the future of EVs.

Green EV Charge intends to construct EV charging hubs, with a goal of 2,150 AC and 2,486 DC chargers by 2030.

As part of its Energy Transition Plan, TNB will spend 90 million ringgit ($26.71 million) over three years to put DC chargers along highways. This will help solve the problem of "range anxiety."

Source: The Edge

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