After much excitement and anticipation, Tesla is finally here in Singapore! 

Price and cost of a Tesla in SG

According to the Straits Times, Tesla sales portal stated that the Tesla Model 3 Performance will retail at an estimated price of just under $155,000 before the Certificate of Entitlement (COE).

It is the high-powered version of the Model 3, which hits 100kmh in 3.3 seconds,

The less powerful Model 3 Standard Range, which reaches 100kmh in 5.6 seconds, will go for around $113,000 before COE. 

The Model 3, is subsidised by the government through the VES, EEAI and ARF scheme. (Mentioned in Tackling Affordability Chapter below)

Thus, in total, the Model 3 enjoys a rebate of $45,000, which is the highest any cars in Singapore can obtain. Do note the price is exclusive of COE. 

According to Tesla’s simple comparison, It is estimated that user will save about S$1,200 per year in fuel savings. 

Problems of owning an electric vehicle in SG

The adoption of EVs are not as easy. Some issues highlighted include affordability and lack of robust infrastructure. 

1. Affordability :

It is no surprise Singapore takes the throne of being the world’s most expensive country to purchase a car. In addition to the cost price, Singaporeans have to pay COE, ARF, Insurances, road tax, etc. 

2. Lack of options :

Even though electric car giant Tesla is set to reenter the local market after almost a decade, there are still only a handful of electric car models available for sale in Singapore, such as the BYD e6 and the Nissan Leaf. 

3. Range Anxiety :

Buyers may also be hesitant to switch to EV. Singapore’s past experience with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles can be an example.

CNG cars, once touted as a cleaner alternative to petrol failed to take off. This was attributed to factors such as a lack of refuelling stations and higher costs once government rebates on CNG fuel dried up. 

Singapore motorists who are used to driving into Malaysia may also face difficulties in recharging EVs across the Causeway when borders reopen. 


Singapore's stance

While the concerns may be valid, buyers need not worry as the government has an absolute resolve on tackling climate change with the inauguration of EVs in Singapore. 

DPM Heng Swee Kiat has announced plans to phase out Internal Combustion Engines(ICE) cars by 2040, in favour of EVs which run on cleaner energy. DPM Heng has allocated S$30M for EV- related initiatives over the next 5 years.

Tackling Affordability of owning an EV in Singapore

To promote adoption and conversion to EVs, the government has meted out incentives such as 

Vehicular Emission Scheme(VES) Rebate  :

The Vehicular Emission Scheme (VES) is based on how much carbon dioxide (CO2) a car emits along with 4 other pollutants.

As of 1 January 2021, the VES rebate for the top two bands (A1, A2) will increase by $5,000. This means that for cars that qualify for the highest band A1, a rebate of $25,000 is given. For band A2, the rebate will be $15,000.

From 1 July 2021 onwards, the VES surcharge for the lowest two bands (C1, C2) will increase by $5,000.

For a car with a band of C1, the vehicle surcharge will increase from $10,000 (currently) to $15,000. For a car with a band of C2, the vehicle surcharge will increase from $20,000 (currently) to $25,000.

Addition Registration Fee (ARF) :

To enable mass-market electric car buyers to benefit more comprehensively, LTA will lower the ARF floor from $5,000 to $0, for fully electric cars and taxis registered from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023. 

The EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) :

Allows those who buy fully electric cars and taxis to receive a rebate of up to 45 per cent on the ARF. Such a rebate is capped at S$20,000. This initiative will run all the way to Jan 31, 2023.

Revision of Road Tax Bands :
There is revision  on the tax bands, which allow owners of a mass-market electric car to pay a road tax similar to ICE cars, depending on make and model.

LTA recently revealed that there has been a 34% reduction for electric cars in the 90-230kW bracket after revising the road tax for mass-market electric car models.

Tackling Lack of options

The lucrative industry has caused many automobiles to switch to producing EVs.

China has seen an exponential growth in the EV sector and brands such as NIO, Xpeng are not unheard of. 

This is a summary of EVs that will be in the Singapore market :

There is a myriad of EVs to choose from, catering to the diverse needs of buyers. For professional clocking farther distance, Tesla Model 3 is a good option with a Max Range of 547Km. 

Tackling Range Anxiety

The CNG case study has shown that Singapore was unsuccessful in converting buyers due to lack of refuelling stations.

However, EV recharging will be rolled out extensively.

According to Minister for Ministry Transport Ong Ye Kung, “By the 2030s, we will strive to make every HDB town an EV-ready town.”

The eight - Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Punggol, Queenstown, Sembawang and the upcoming Tengah town - are part of a "town-centric" approach being taken for the installation of charging points.

“The towns were chosen as they are spread across Singapore and have a high concentration of car parks with existing electrical capacity to support charging point deployment,” said the Land Transport Authority (LTA). 

In the near term, charging points will be installed in a variety of public car parks islandwide where suitable and where there is spare electrical capacity, it added. 

These initiatives are in line with the aim of deploying 60,000 EV charging points across Singapore by 2030, of which 40,000 will be in public car parks while another 20,000 will be in private premises. 

All new HDB carparks will provide sufficient electrical capacity to support EV slow charging for 15 per cent of their car parking lots, and install a minimum number of chargers in these lots.

Besides the government sector, the private sector has been actively involved in the adoption of EV in Singapore. For example, Four Caltex service stations will soon offer fast charging for electric vehicles, in a partnership between SP Group and Chevron Singapore.

The charging service will be incorporated into the SP Utilities mobile app. Drivers can use the app to check the availability of the nearest charging points, receive real-time updates on their charging sessions and make payment. 

"Our aim is to build Singapore’s largest public EV charging network and expand our integrated green mobility solutions," said SP Group CEO Stanley Huang. 

Closing thoughts

If I were to buy a car, I would definitely go for an EV.

Price is one of the key factors to look out for. With generous aid and subsidies it highly incentivises buyers to adopt EV.

In addition, with comprehensive plans to make Singapore a EV town, it will not be an inconvenience to recharge. The fear of being stranded on the road due lack of power is further mitigated.

Hence, I strongly believe EV will be the norm in the coming years. 

Check out our EV tutorial video below to know more!

The Astute Parent: A parent who has a sharp acumen on sieving through 'alien' financial jargon to dish out bite size financial tips from a parent's perspective.
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