Programme aims to support shift from fossil fuels and reduce gas emissions
The Straits Times, Singapore, April 13, 2022
A scheme launched yesterday will allow electric vehicle (EV) charging point operators and fleet owners here to make money from the use of battery powered cars, in a move that aims to support the shift away from fossil fuels.
The Electric Vehicle Accelerator programme, designed by Singapore-based carbon trading company CRX CarbonBank, will generate carbon credits based on the greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved through the charging of EVs.
This is calculated by comparing against the emissions that would have been generated by internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that the EVs would have replaced.
These Carbon Credits will then be sold and, as early as 2025, up to 30 per cent of the revenue will be shared with companies that participate in the programme.
This money can then be distributed further down the line to reward private hire car drivers who switch to EVs, or drivers who charge their EVs at participating charging points, for instance.
CRX CarbonBank estimates that for cars and taxis alone, the Carbon Credit scheme could bring in US$22.8 million (US$31.1 million) to US$42.8 million in carbon revenue, and cut nine million tonnes of emissions by 2040.
Ride-hailing company Gojek is the first to sign up for the scheme, and more are expected to join.
CRX CarbonBank’s co-founder and chief executive Vinod Kesava told The Straits Times that the revenue from the sale of the credits will help to defray the upfront cost of building charging infrastructure and incentivise greater EV adoption here.
A European buyer of the Carbon Credits has already been lined up, but Mr Vinod declined to say more about this.
CRX CarbonBank said it has also developed a digital platform to measure and verify the amount of emissions reduced.
It will use methodology that has been approved by Verra, an American body that sets standards for certifying carbon credits. and a proprietary system for validation and verification.
The company has filed a patent application in Singapore for this system, which it says uses blockchain technology to ensure that precise charging data is used.
It has worked with local startup Beep Technologies to build the platform and ensure charging sessions are recorded properly and that there is no double counting.
To monitor and track the Carbon Credits generated under the programme, the company said it will tap the open-source OpenAttestation standard developed by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency. This is the same standard that has been used to verify education certificates and Covid-19 vaccinations here.
To encourage companies to join the new Carbon Credit scheme, CRX CarbonBank said it will provide an early bird grant of US$4.80 for every megawatt-hour of charging registered under the scheme.
This grant, payable annually, will last until February 2024 but may be extended, depending on how many firms sign up. The company expects to pay our more than US$2 million in grants by 2024.
While Singapore has already announced plans to phase out all ICE vehicles here by 2040, Mr Vinod said driving an EV is not yet common practice here, and the new EV Carbon Credit scheme will ideally help accelerate the shift towards greener vehicles.
The scheme will end in 2050, around the time Singapore aims to achieve net-zero emissions, and there are plans to expand it to other countries in Southeast Asia.
Asked about the viability of EV Carbon Credits in Singapore, Mr Roman Kramarchuk, head of future energy analytics at S&P Global Commodity Insights, said such a scheme can make EV charging more easily accessible and potentially less costly.
But the carbon benefits would be more limited as most of the electricity here is generated using natural gas, he said.
Unless (the) EV charging system can be directly tied to renewables, physically or financially, there will still be emissions associated with electric charging,” he said.