Singapore startup QuickCharge aims to provide electric vehicle (EV) users with fast charging solutions right on their doorstep.
Launched in June this year, it claims to be the nation’s first electric vehicle charging point retailer and service provider with a unique “Charge and Earn” program.
Its affiliated automotive company Hong Seh Motors is a seller of electric passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as motorcycles. They decided to embark on this concept when they noticed the “chicken and egg problem” where the lack of available EV chargers prevents interested customers from actually making their EV purchases.
This comes as the Singapore government implements multiple incentives to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the nation. Several brands have followed suit and more EVs are being launched on the market, but consumers are not yet making the switch.
Locals are still not enthusiastic about the switch from gasoline vehicles to electric vehicles, in part due to the cost of electric vehicles and fear of the inconvenience of charging. As such, the need for a charging infrastructure quickly becomes an urgent need.
Allowing EV Charger Owners to Be ‘Energy Traders’
Quick Charge created the Charge & Earn service to encourage public participation in building the electric vehicle community’s charging infrastructure.
This novel program allows almost anyone to buy and install electric vehicle chargers on their property and earn passive income by selling power to electric vehicle users. Charging Point Operators (CPOs) can adjust the power or speed of their electric vehicle chargers, the charge rate (price per kilowatt), and the availability of charge to suit their needs. Electric vehicle drivers can locate charging points through the QuickCharge app, which will be launched soon.
CPOs can adjust the charge rate, which can vary, as some homeowners may have solar panels or other renewable charging sources that affect the base cost of energy. As of yet, there is no regulatory standardization of charges in the application, but regulations may be imposed in the future.
QuickCharge primarily targets shopping malls, country clubs, hotels, and commercial buildings as its CPOs. However, anyone with space can also buy chargers from the company and sell power to all electric vehicle users.
So far, there are more than 30 users who have installed QuickCharge EV chargers in their own facilities, both for personal and commercial use, as well as for fleets of commercial EVs.
Leslie Yap, 33, a QuickCharge sales consultant, has sold six chargers in the last two months.
“The shipment of Tesla cars was recently delayed, but as these deliveries start to pick up, we’re also seeing our sales grow,” said Leslie, who now has nine charger facilities in the works.
Offering a range of electric vehicle chargers for private and commercial applications
To date, QuickCharge offers seven different EV chargers, with prices ranging from S $ 1,500 to S $ 14,990.
The KHONS 1 Phase and KHONS 3 Phase are two of the company’s first portable chargers to meet Energy Market Authority (EMA) Technical Reference 25 for recharging on the go. The Aurora 7/22 is a compact AC wall charger suitable for overnight charging in residential use. Its flagship DC fast charger, Venus 30, is suitable for private and commercial use.
While its larger and more expensive models include the AC / DC charger, Jupiter 60, which is similar to what gas stations offer; In addition to the Titan 180, a high-power DC charger suitable for kiosks and companies with heavy electric vehicles.
All chargers are compatible with Type 2 and CCS2 connectors for all electric vehicle models, including commercial ones, as well as for Japanese niche electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, which uses a CHAdeMO connector. Owners can even order the CHAdeMO connector if needed.
The entire product range was created in partnership with StarCharge, China’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicle chargers. Interestingly, StarCharge is also the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for well-known automotive companies such as Porche, Audi, and BMW.
Who can own these electric vehicle chargers and potentially make a profit?
In accordance with current regulations, all electric vehicle chargers must be installed by a licensed electrician.
People can have a charger even if they live in a condo, but they require prior approval from the MCST. On the other hand, private home owners can have an electric vehicle charger on their properties without obtaining approval.
Similarly, individual condo owners can make a profit from the sale of energy through Charge & Earn, if some conditions are met. For example, who gets the benefits depends on the plan the owner signs up for.
There are different schemes available, regarding ownership of company chargers. These include full payment schemes, installation plans, capital expenditures of 50-50 (CaPex), as well as zero percent of CaPex.
The net profit will be distributed accordingly, according to the chosen scheme.
There is also no limit on how many chargers a person or entity can own. However, a building’s power supply and grid system can limit the amount of power that is supplied to all charging stations within the building.
“Currently, the Homeowners of the Housing Development Board (HDB) cannot buy or install our products on their properties. Public parking lots are in tender launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Transportation Authority. Terrestrial (LTA) ”, clarified Lindy.
Electric vehicle owners living in HDB flats can still use the company’s services by locating the closest QuickCharge stations in their mobile app.
New LTA Grant Could Bring QuickCharge to More Condos
For residential users, Lindy Lee, deputy CEO of QuickCharge, said electric vehicle charger installation is much simpler and more straightforward in private homes than it is in non-terrestrial private residences (NLPRs) like condos and private apartments.
Installation in condominium parking lots is a lengthy process that requires prior approval of the Management Corporation Stratum Title (MSCT), which takes place at the annual general meetings (AGM) with the committee.
However, condo owners will soon see more electric vehicle chargers in their parking lots. The LTA launched the Common charger grant for electric vehicles (ECCG) on July 29, 2021 to encourage the installation of shared electric vehicle chargers in the NLPR. To date, QuickCharge is one of the few electric vehicle charger companies in Singapore eligible for LTA ECCG.
As an incentive for early adopters, the ECCG will co-finance the installation costs of 2,000 electric vehicle chargers in the NLPRs, which make up a significant proportion of residences in Singapore. This will significantly improve the provision and access of chargers, as well as the overall coverage of Singapore’s national electric vehicle charging network.
The grant covers up to 50 per cent of the charging system, with a limit of S $ 4,000 per charger; 50 percent of the fees for licensed electrical workers; and 50 per cent for wiring and installation work, capped at S $ 1,000.
The local government announced a target to deploy charging points of 60,000 electric vehicles by 2030, 20,000 of which will be in private facilities and 40,000 in public parking lots.
Applications for ECCG They are already open from July 29, 2021. However, this grant will only be available until December 31, 2023, or until 2,000 shippers have received co-financing support, whichever comes first.
HDB owners, like private homeowners, are not eligible for the LTA ECCG, which only applies to NLPRs.
Smart chargers and their operators must meet certain criteria before obtaining LTA approval.
More electric vehicle chargers in the works
QuickCharge said it will introduce its new advanced high-power charging system, the Nova 360. This DC charger offers increased scalability with up to six charging points per cabinet and is suitable for commercial use in warehouses, for example.
The team is heavily involved in conducting market research and regular surveys to better understand the needs of its users. They hope to serve more users beyond the confines of electric cars, to include more electric vans, trucks, lorries and buses.
With a team of six sales consultants and counting, QuickCharge aims to expand its product and service offerings and be Singapore’s one-stop solution for electric vehicle charging needs.
It will be very exciting to see how QuickCharge’s Charge & Earn program works for users once your mobile app is ready.
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Featured Image Credit: QuickCharge