Early adopters will get special perks

If you’ve walked down Stanley Street in the Telok Ayer district in the past few days, you may have noticed a mysterious big charging point and a parking space that has been blocked out with the logo BlueSG. After years of planning and unexpected delays, Singapore’s first electric vehicle (EV) sharing scheme is finally becoming a reality come Dec 12.

We've been talking about how the company plans to have a total of 1,000 BlueSG EVs, with 500 charging stations that will amount to 2,000 charging points by 2020; 400 of which will be for use with any other electric cars owned by the public. But for now, only 80 of these cars will be on the road as part of its launch. And by the end of 2017, they'll be installing 30 BlueSG stations with 120 charging points in Singapore's heartlands, the city, one-north and Science Park. If you take a look at their station locator map, there's already one in Jurong East, Toa Payoh and even Punggol. If everything goes as planned, the scheme will be the second biggest in the world after Paris, whose fleet boasts more than 4,000 cars.

You can book a car through the BlueSG mobile app, which will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play later today (Dec 5). Then tap your BlueSG member card or paired EZ-Link card on the card reader at the charge point, and unlock the car by tapping the same card on the reader beside the driver's wing mirror.

Unlike traditional car rental companies, you'll be charged based on how long you use it instead of distance. You can either sign up for a premium annual membership plan that costs $15, where you’ll be charged $0.33 per minute; or go for a weekly membership plan with no recurring fee and be charged $0.50 per minute (apparently the first 1,000 to subscribe will enjoy special perks, but they’ve yet to announce what they are).This means you really don’t want to be caught in a traffic jam if you’re renting a BlueSG car because an hour usage on the latter membership plan will already set you back $30. Despite this, BlueSG's managing director said in an interview that the prices are "relatively consistent" with other countries it has a presence in.

Obviously, Singaporeans have already taken to Facebook to air their concerns.

Whether or not they’ll reduce the price in the near future, like how the bike-sharing companies did to compete with each other, is relatively unknown at this point. There isn’t really any competition besides traditional car rental companies, but the comparison is pretty weak since EVs are supposedly better for the environment. One thing’s for sure, we won’t be seeing anyone throwing cars down a HDB block or dumping them in a drain somewhere. 

Registration and more info here.