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Will Car Rental Companies Utilize Electric Vehicles?

Oct 15,2020

With the advent of technology, the demand for electric cars seems to be on the rise. Climate change has been an increasingly imminent threat to our existence and many global leaders are worried about the effects of commuting on the environment. Thus, some countries have kickstarted the initiative of encouraging changes in consumption habits, in this case, with regards to commuting. With increased distance and time, average annual transport related carbon emissions would increase year by year. In 2014, transport emissions accounted for 23% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with urban commuting being the main contributor to this statistic. Hence, it is essential for a deeper look into the by-products of commute and to develop environmental consciousness in the way we commute. Thus, the stance of car rental companies towards this environmental action is something worth delving into.

Singapore’s Direction

In Singapore, there is a growing allure towards this new way of commuting. With companies like BlueSG, a car sharing company, being the early adopters of this generally new creation, it sparks interesting conversations about the rise of these alternatively-fueled vehicles of the industry being the next “new trend”!

As Singapore declares its ambition to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles within the next 20 years, it’s no wonder that such buzz around the feasibility of the use of EV, in efforts to make the use of it more attractive starting 2021. However, most car rental companies are still using the traditional petroleum-fueled cars as their staple source of rental. Is it time for car rental companies to expand their repertoire and range of their fleet to include this new but upcoming trend of vehicles? 

It seems as though the demand for EVs is about to take off, albeit different stakeholders having varying takes on this new commuting phenomenon. Many have acknowledged and expressed interest in having EVs as a part of the choice of vehicles in time to come, but they are hesitating based on various considerations.

Environmentally Friendly 

Of course, the first obvious boon for this change is the benefit of being more environmentally conscious and green. To provide the best car rental services, Car rental companies might hop on this green bandwagon and show their commitment in this trend by catering to this growing demand.

What’s in the Way? 

Challenges Faced by Car Rental Companies

Change is challenging. The lack of familiarity and the venture into the unknown may possibly be the biggest stumbling block in the future towards car rental company’s resistance towards this new endeavour. Car rental companies and customers alike are all familiar with how petrol-fueled cars work, or at least, know that it works. For these car rental companies like BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd, one of the greatest challenges is the time and financial investment to add the necessary infrastructure to cater to the greater range of cars being serviced. Additionally, the similarities in functionality of the EVs to that of their Petrol-fueled counterparts reduces the push for change. Its only unique selling point – reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, to succeed in eventual change, the performance and price of EVs need to be competitive and abreast with the current existing options.

Other challenges that car rental companies have to take into consideration are: 

  1. Fully charged EVs cannot take as many miles as compared to their Petroleum-fueled counterparts before it needs to be topped up again. Hence, they are more in demand for short ranged trips rather than long ones. 
  2. Charging of EVs is time consuming (might take up to 12 hours for full charge), whereas it takes a driver less than 10mins to get a petrol-fueled car into full pump. 
  3. Moreover, there are petrol kiosks easily found islandwide. Currently, there are limited charging stations and the lack of availability of these charging ports in remote areas. This is especially so if one is on a short-term car rental to Malaysia. 
  4. Currently, there are not many choices of make and models of EVs in the market at the moment. 

Car Rental Service Customers

For car rental service customers, they become the early adopters and trail blazers for this new adventure into the world of the unknown of using electric cars on the road. Learning when and how to charge the cars, maintenance, their functionality and the different quirks these EVs have is an adventure ride on its own. However, with proper support from the state, these changes all seem more possible than not. What differs, possibly, is the time frame – when would the huge majority of commuters be finally comfortable with this transition. Our guess is as good as yours. Regardless, it’s a venture worth delving more time in to. 

Lastly, for EV buyers, you’d be happy to know that you’d be able to enjoy early adopter benefits. These include: 

  1. Vehicle Emissions Scheme, which rolls out tax rebates and surcharges based on vehicle’s emission levels. 
  2. From 2021 to 2023, there will be a 45% rebate on Additional Registration Fee, the main car tax, capped at $20,000 per vehicle. 
  3. Road tax for EVs and some hybrids will be less punitive. 
  4. By 2030, Singapore will expand EV charging infrastructure from 1,600 points to 28,000 points. 

Is Singapore Ready? 

With this green trend in progress, the state has tried to hop on the green bandwagon, along with countries like US and Europe, to put in place measures to encourage car rental companies to adopt new ways for renters to commute. By the end of this year, more than 1000 public charging stations are sprouting out all over the island, allowing for easy and more accessible charging. Of which, around 250 of these charging ports are the Direct Current charges that can power up a Battery-electric Vehicle in less than an hour. This allows for more efficient charging and this would hopefully ease commuters into the advocated trend of renting and using EVs in time to come.

At BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd, we have yet to roll out any EVs for rent at this current moment. However, fret not as our rented cars are serviced to its finest quality before it is being rented out to customers. Should you wish to find out more about the different car rental packages of our cars, check us out at https://bizlinkrentacar.com.sg/ or speak to the support team at sales@bizlinkgroup.com.sg or at +65 6285 6616.