Issue 1 | JANUARY 2012
Mr S. Iswaran shared with EMA his experience and
thoughts on the EVs.

Mr S. Iswaran recently test-drove some of the electric vehicles that are being used in the EV test-bed and shared with EMA his experience and thoughts on the EVs.

How was your experience driving the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Daimler smart electric drive?

I thoroughly enjoyed test-driving the electric vehicles. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the drive was. Though small, the EVs packed quite a bit of punch and the handling was good. Acceleration was smooth and strong. With a full charge of the batteries, the EVs have a range of 90-160km, I was told. This is somewhat limited compared to cars running on conventional fuels, even though the average daily driving distance in Singapore is only about 55km. The range will improve with better battery technology. Also, more charging stations need to be rolled out to encourage a good take-up rate of EVs.

What stood out for you in your test drive?

I was particularly surprised by how quiet they are. I now can better understand why there have been calls to ensure that pedestrians are made more aware of the presence of EVs on the roads. For this reason, some car manufacturers are now considering fitting their EVs with safety features to alert passers-by!

How do the EVs compare with conventional cars?

It is a competitive market. Conventional car makers have significantly improved the efficiency of their cars and continue to do so. We are also witnessing the advent of a whole new range of hybrid vehicles. The challenge for EVs is to convince car buyers of their value proposition – in terms of fuel and operating cost advantages and environmental benefits vs. ride comfort and car performance. With enhancements in technology, improvements in charging infrastructure, and scale advantages as the volume of production grows, I believe EVs will offer consumers a compelling choice in the automobile market.

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