Credit: Singapore Ministry of Finance

The Singapore government is putting in more resources to support the transition from petrol to electric vehicles (EVs), according to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat at his budget speech today.

DPM Heng has allocated S$30 million for EV-related initiatives over the next five years for EV-related initiatives like measures to improve charging provision on private premises. He also mentioned that the Additional Registration Fee (ADF) floor for EVs will be lowered to zero from January 2022 to December 2023, giving one more reason for Singaporeans to switch to EVs or to purchase one.

Prior to Minister Heng’s budget speech, however, the government launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 on 10 February 2021, that aims “to strengthen the country’s ongoing efforts to implement the country’s commitments under the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development agenda.”

The plan consists of five pillars that focus on turning Singapore into a green country – from setting aside 50% more land for nature parks to reducing waste sent to landfills by 30%. One of these pillars, “Energy Reset,” focuses on the government’s plan that all newly-registered cars are required to be cleaner-energy models by 2030 to achieve their vision of phasing out Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040.

The government hopes that the plan will reduce the country’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least two million tonnes per year by 2030, and reduce energy consumption by more than eight million megawatt-hours per year.

If you are looking to make the switch, here are what you need to know about EVs and their advantage over ICE vehicles.

Government Rebates

Credit: National Environment Agency

EVs like Hyundai’s IoniqElectric and BMW’s i3 electric are cars that run purely on electricity stored in its battery. A hybrid car, meanwhile, still needs a conventional gasoline engine to obtain energy from. This is why the government is advocating the use of EVs over hybrids.

Although the selling price of some EVs can reach up to S$462,058, the government has rebates that amount to approximately S$45,000 when combined. This means you don’t have to pay the full selling price if the rebates are not part of the computation. These rebates are the government’s way of incentivising the people to get EVs now instead of ICE vehicles. However, keep in mind that the selling price does not include the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) required to get a car.

The Early Adoption Incentive Scheme will only last until 2023 while the Vehicular Emissions Scheme, will be here to stay. The latter scheme will give Singaporeans a rebate of either S$15,000 or S$25,000 depending on the vehicle’s make and model, while the former will give a 45% rebate on a vehicle’s ADF.

Cost-Efficient & Cheaper to Maintain

Credit: BMW

An EV car is also a lot cheaper to maintain than an ICE car. The days of worrying about replacing a car’s fuel injectors, oil filter, and radiator will come to an end if you switch to an EV. These parts are gone with an EV, which saves you money on maintenance.

However, maintaining an EV also has its challenges. An EV’s software needs to be updated regularly and the brakes also need to be checked for wear and tear. An EV’s battery can only hold a full charge for so long before it starts to degrade. Replacing a degraded battery is the most expensive replacement you’ll encounter when using an EV. You’ll also need to replace the coolant to keep the battery from catching fire or exploding.

EVs can take you to places for less compared to ICE vehicles. According to Alevin Chan of SingSaver, the average annual distance a car will travel is around 17,500km, which will cost approximately S$454.75 if you’re charging up a Hyundai Ioniq Electric’s battery. A Hyundai Avante, an ICE car, will need S$2,345 of fuel to reach the same distance. You’ll be able to pocket S$1,890.25 in savings, which is definitely a substantial amount.

Charging is Cheaper than Fuelling Up

Credit: Shell

Speaking of the EV’s battery, potential EV users will have to take note of the cost and time to charge their EV up and where to charge it up. Singapore has a current total of 1,600 charging points scattered across the country, which is a small amount. However, the government has stated in Green Plan 2030 that they plan to further increase the number of charging points from the previously planned 28,000 to 60,000 come 2030.

Shell’s Recharge Stations have rapid 50kW direct current (DC) chargers that can charge an EV from empty to 80% in 30 minutes. You’ll have to connect your credit card to either your Shell Recharge card or Greenlots account to pay the charging fee, which you’ll be happy to know that it’ll be more affordable than petrol for an ICE vehicle. Derryn Wong of Carbuyer and Alevin Chan stated that Shell Recharge will charge you S$0.55 per kWh.

BlueSG also has charging points around Singapore, but Singaporeans who wish to make use of them will have to pay S$20 for a year’s membership first. After doing so, EV users will have to pay S$1 for the first three hours and S$2 for the succeeding hours.

It is possible to charge an EV in your home, provided you have a charging point in your garage. Derryn Wong also stated that you can technically plug in an EV to a wall socket at home, but it needs a safety-approved charge cable to keep the vehicle (and your home) from catching fire.


Written by John Paul Joaquin